News Stories

Wormholes Could Be Space-Time "Postboxes"

Have you ever regretted a missed opportunity to send a message to someone? Did you think that your life may well have been different if you had communicated certain things, and you would give anything to re-live that moment again?

According to scientists from Jesus College, Cambridge, U.K., you may get your chance to right the wrongs of the past - in the future.

Researchers have published the results of a study that outlines a theoretical method of sending messages back in time.The study uses the budding time-traveler's best friend to date, the good ol' wormhole, thought by physicists to be a tunnel that could provide a short-cut between two different points in space and time. Though in science fiction time travellers use wormholes like Highway One, zipping backwards and forwards in time at will, in reality it appears that they are actually very transient entities that would not remain open for long enough to allow the transport of even the tiniest particles.

The new paper, authored by Cambridge physicist Luke Butcher, claims to have discovered a type of energy, known as 'Casimir' or 'negative' energy, that could, in theory, keep wormholes open for longer periods, long enough to send a pulse of light from one end to the other.This method was first proposed back in 1988 by another physicist, Kip Thorne, who proposed that wormholes might be kept open though the use of Casimir energy, but at that point in time no one could conceive how to create such energy and pass it through the wormhole. Butcher's later work has focused on the utilisation of Casimir energy that already exists naturally inside the enigmatic time-bending tunnels. His calculations suggested that wormholes that were longer than they were wide would hold enough Casimir energy to cause them to remain open for longer, providing a minute window of opportunity to pulse a proton through the tunnel.

An extract from the paper's abstract states:

"We calculate the Casimir energy-momentum tensor induced in a scalar field by a macroscopic ultrastatic spherically-symmetric long-throated traversable wormhole, and examine whether this exotic matter is sufficient to stabilise the wormhole itself."

Currently, Butcher's concept is merely theoretical but it could provide the foundation to inspire new forms of experimental physics in the future. The study doesn't say whether it may eventually be possible to go back in time to retrieve that drunken text you wish you had never sent to your ex-partner, but it's a quantum step in the right direction.

Butcher is certainly not alone amongst his peers in the pursuit of time traveling possibilities: time travel has been the subject of numerous research studies in the past, and a search on Google's US Patents search engine yields a surprising four patent applications for workable time machines currently in existence. In fact, it feels as though science is on the brink of discovering truly workable time-traveling technology, and there are those who believe that this future technology must surely be affecting our lives in the present.

Anne Strieber has always believed that UFOs must have some ability to jump through space-time, and that abduction scenarios could in fact be encounters with our future selves. She shares her fascinating insights with us here:

"Some or all of the whole UFO-close encounter phenomenon could involve travel back in time. If so, then 'they' are probably us. They would be creating the impression that they're aliens in order to give them more freedom of action. This would also be the reason for the secrecy. As for why they'd be doing it--it would be a desperate effort to fix their present by changing ours. That's probably why the close encounter witnesses universally report that they say we're ruining our environment."

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Maybe people would understand the situation better if, instead of saying "the environment," we said "our life support system."

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