# Five Major Problems with Wormholes

Wormholes are supposed to be shortcuts from one time and place to another time and place.   For example, drive your spaceship into one end and exit near some other star, perhaps 1000 light years away.   Drive back through and return to earth.  Simple enough.

If a wormhole is ever created for passage of man or machine by some future civilization, then there will be some major problems to overcome other than the biggie… creating the wormhole in the first place.  I believe this is the first time most, if not all, of these problems have been identified.

Although the wormhole supposedly bends/warps time and space, there is a fundamental limit to how fast you can get from here to there, no matter how much time and space are warped.   That limit is c and it applies to the Long Way Around (LWA) path length.  First let me tell you why I think so as it is key to the some of the rest of my list of problems.

A common wormhole is created by every photon that exists.   For example, a photon does a space/time warp from Proxima Centauri (the nearest star to our sun) to our eye.  The distance and time the photon experiences is zero.  It does not age during the trip and the total distance is zero at the moment of creation.   However, it still takes 4.22 years to get here, the time light takes to travel the total distance from that star to ours.

Einstein’s equations say that the photon traveling at c has a total path length of zero and travel time of zero duration.  I believe that applies to every photon.   However, we know that the photon takes 4.22 light years and travels about 28 trillion miles from that star to our eye as we measure or calculate it.   Even though the path the photon sees is zero length and the time it ages is zero time during the trip, it still does not arrive until the entire 4.22 light years elapses.

It is my theory that this is because the space/time warp of our photon wormhole connects the emission point on Proxima Centauri and the landing point in our eye only in a virtual sense and only in the first instant of its creation.

After that first instance, the photon moves away from the emitter at light speed and the path behind it expands as the photon travels along it at c.   The photon’s path to our eye always remains zero length, but it traverses the path at c, leaving an expanded path behind until the entire path is traversed.   The photon never transfers its energy until the entire path is completed at the maximum velocity of c.

My first wormhole problem is that the time required is no less than the long way around travel time at c.   Anything entering the wormhole is imposibly close to the other end (as for our photon example), but cannot actually get there until the path from the entry point expands behind the object moving at c throughout the entire trip, the LWA, just as it does for the photon wormhole.

Even if the wormhole spans a time/space warp of 1000 light years, it will still take no less than 1000 years to get from here to there even if the wormhole appears to be of zero length.   The crew of the space ship that manages to get into a wormhole would not age during the trip, a distinct advantage for the crew and the ship’s lifetime.  It would seem to be instantaneous and if it were indeed reversible, then the return trip would be just as fast.  Drive into one end and return immediately and likely not be but a few hours older.   However any companions that were left behind on earth would be dead nearly 2000 years.   All this assumes the problems that follow can be solved.

The second problem is that a wormhole cannot be established before it is created at each end.  If  one end is created today and the other is somehow created on a distant star, the wormhole would not be operable until the second wormhole is created, presumably at least the normal space ship travel time from one construction site to the other, even if the construction crew travels at c.    Unless the wormhole acts like a reversible time machine, a much more difficult arrangement, it will take the same amount of time each way through the wormhole with the arrow of time aging both ways and it cannot begin to be used as a shortcut until both ends are finished.    It would take a very patient civilization to plan for such a feat.

My third problem involves getting into any wormhole that moves you along at light speed.  The nose of the ship would presumably be accelerated to light speed even before the crew compartment made it into the opening.   The result would be powdered spaceship and crew with photons leading the way, larger particles and atoms dragging behind, but no survivors or anything recognizable.

The fourth problem is getting out of the wormhole.  Let’s say somehow you can get your space ship in and up to speed.   Everything going out the other end arrives there at light speed.   A huge blast of various rays and light burping out the other end, frying anything loitering near the exit.  A great light show, but hardly useful for the crew wanting to get from here to there in a hurry, or their greeting party for that matter.  The wormhole turns out to be a great ray gun!

My fifth problem involves reversibility.  We assume that entering the wormhole at either end establishes the direction of travel.  However, it appears to me that it is very likely that the arrow of time exists only in the direction of the creation of the wormholes.  That is, from the first wormhole to the second.  Items entering the first one created would be moving in an arrow of time from the earliest time to the latest.   Items trying to enter the second wormhole to come back would be rejected in a smoldering heap or blast of rays.   If that logic is reversed, the problem still exists:  One way only!

### Arrow of Time Established?

I believe this applies to photons and particles in general.  The equations for physics always seem to allow collisions to be reversable and there are no laws that would not allow any set of particle interactions to be reversible.   However, it is my opinion that photons are not reversible for the reasons listed above.  They are zipping through non reversible wormholes.   Energy is transferred from point of creation to some other point where it is absorbed or transferred to another particle and can’t go back though the wormhole as it is a one way street, from first end created to the second end and never the other way around.  That means the arrow of time always moves forward and is never reverseable.  It can be stopped but never reversed.

### SuperLumal Transmission?

As a side note, for the reasons listed in the problems listed above, there will be no speedup of communications through a wormhole.  No superlumal transmissions, no advantage over sending it across space the normal way, and very likely, no two way communications.   I hope these revelations do not stop any projects in progress as science will advance no matter what.  8>)  Photon wormholes are the best anyone will be able to do.

Oldtimer

Copyright 2007, James A. Tabb  (may be reproduced with full credits)

### 8 responses to “Five Major Problems with Wormholes”

1. Mansouryar

Hey James,

I recommend you to study some books on the special relativity written for the laypeople. Your 1# can be solved so: Time is a relativistic entity. All you said is related to the time and distance felt by the photon itself, not anything else; the 4.28 light year distance is the measurement of a constant observer at the earth. The story has nothing to do with the wormholes.
The further mentioned drawbacks can be sorted out by reading and investigating the technical details of the correct theories.
All the said, don’t worry man! Just wait a bit more to watch how a realized traversable wormhole does work at Iran!
For having awesome moment:

2. Hello Mohammed,

The first link in your comment doesn’t work. The second one does and I invite my readers to look at it.

Regarding your comment, it is true that the time dilation and distance distortion is felt only by the photon and nothing else. And yes, the 4.28 light years is felt by an observer on earth. However, you miss the point.

The point is that the photon acts like it went through a wormhole and got there instantly, even to the point of not aging during the trip, but for we observers at rest, the photon still takes 4.28 years to get from there to here.

The story has everthing to do with wormholes because if a wormhole could be created it would behave in the way that I’ve posted. There is no problem with the science above and the wormhole provides no shortcut, no surviability, no reversabilty, no FTL capability, and thus no useful traversability.

Go in at earth and come out the same age (you won’t survive) at the star but 4.28 years in the future. Then put the debris back in and it will be squirted back out at the star again (not reversable). If you have a second wormhole generated in reverse order than you could put the debris back in and return to earth (you won’t be regenerated) and the debris would still be the same age but it would arrive 8.56 years after it first left earth. (If anything is at all there to test for age). If anything had survived, it would return to an older civilization with no one waiting around nearly 9 years to report to, assuming they had not given up and dismanteled the device or it lost power at least once in 8 years, etc. A wormhole to a planet around a star 100 years away would be pretty hard to steer to the right place and the returning parts (through a second wormhole), if any, would depend on power being maintained continously for some 200 years by a pretty skeptical civilization that has probably invented some pretty fantastic stuff by then.

Your dream of creating a trasversable wormhole in Iran is just not going to happen for the very reasons I’ve listed above. Not even the technology of a UFO you refer to on the pdf from your referenced website can overcome these problems.

Thanks for commenting,
Um… by the way, if you are in Iran, why is your post coming from Amsterdam?

Jim

3. Mansouryar

Hi again Jim,

http://extremetechnology.blogspot.com/2006/03/macroscopic-tranversable-spacewarp.html

Now, let us criticize your points:

… The point is that the photon acts like it went through a wormhole and got there instantly, even to the point of not aging during the trip, but for we observers at rest, the photon still takes 4.28 years to get from there to here …

I don’t agree with this analogy. One could say the photon acts like it is being carried by an angel, free from the physical limitations too. The wormhole geometry comes after warping the fabric of spacetime, but we are sure there is no such a region of spacetime with macroscopic manifestations around the earth, along a sufficiently long range, maybe till the Proxima Centuri. Also, practical wormholes dramatically reduce the distance, but those could not remove it completely.

… The story has everthing to do with wormholes because if a wormhole could be created it would behave in the way that I’ve posted. There is no problem with the science above and the wormhole provides no shortcut, no surviability, no reversabilty, no FTL capability, and thus no useful traversability …

Please review these links first, then come back to me if needed:

http://www.npl.washington.edu/AV/altvw33.html

Oldtimer’s comment: I’ve edited out numerous links to very old science fiction articles by the same author (as the one above) on the same subject published in different years. No new information and all of them are science fiction.

… Go in at earth and come out the same age … … the device or it lost power at least once in 8 years, etc …

By adjusting the shape and red-shift functions of a traversable wormhole, one could vanish or effectively shorten the time dilation factor, the result would be FTL travels within the reasonable periods of time for both the passengers and the observers.

… A wormhole to a planet around a star 100 years away would be pretty hard to steer to the right place and the returning parts (through a second wormhole), if any, would depend on power being maintained continously for some 200 years by a pretty skeptical civilization that has probably invented some pretty fantastic stuff by then …

Visualize a wireless connection. There is no need to have two portals. Also, you need the required energy only for the time of operation. A dynamic wormhole system does not need to be turned on permanently. The story is not so complex …

… Not even the technology of a UFO you refer to on the pdf from your referenced website can overcome these problems …

It is the one. It’s been called “Better than most in the field”:

… Um… by the way, if you are in Iran, why is your post coming from Amsterdam? …

Are you sure? How did you check? It might be related to anomalies of some involved softwares at the servers. All the science we mentioned were theoretical concepts, but I believe my present location is a real concept! :D

4. Mohammed,

You said:

… practical wormholes dramatically reduce the distance, but those could not remove it completely.

Actually they do for things inside that travel at c, but time stops for whatever is inside also. It does not arrive any faster than light can travel “the long way around”. I’m quite sure of that, no matter how much reduced. No FTL.

Please review these links first, then come back to me if needed:

Those links are all to nearly 20 year old science fiction magazines. Perhaps you have a ray gun too? Sending me dozens of links from the same science fiction author in 3 comments is not going to help. It is like expecting me to accept Star Trec as a valid source. Even their transporter does not work except locally. And once again one of your links goes nowhere – maybe it got mangled trying to get through the portal.

… Go in at earth and come out the same age … … the device or it lost power at least once in 8 years, etc …

By adjusting the shape and red-shift functions of a traversable wormhole, one could vanish or effectively shorten the time dilation factor, the result would be FTL travels within the reasonable periods of time for both the passengers and the observers.

Rather difficult to do as your stated design is for a nano sized gap between two parallel plates with supposed negative energy inside. Not even an ant’s paw would fit in there. Suck it in and all that would get through is maybe juice from the paw that shorts out the plates and blows up your device and everything around it.

Visualize a wireless connection. There is no need to have two portals. Also, you need the required energy only for the time of operation. A dynamic wormhole system does not need to be turned on permanently. The story is not so complex …

Then why have you said in one of your links that a duplicate set is needed on the other end? How are you going to get it to a planet or space station on another star? How are you going to coordinate the transfer 4.28 communication link years apart? How are you going to keep a project alive on one end while waiting a few hundred years for you to get to that star with today’s space technology? There is no way you will set up one end here and send the second device through your nano meter wide gap to a moving target with no destination.

… Um… by the way, if you are in Iran, why is your post coming from Amsterdam? …

Are you sure? How did you check? It might be related to anomalies of some involved softwares at the servers. All the science we mentioned were theoretical concepts, but I believe my present location is a real concept!

Please do not send me any more stuff until you have it perfected. This portal is not open any more.

Oldtimer

5. Mohammed has suggested that I contact Dr. Christopher Fewster and Prof. Peter Kuhfittig regarding the subject of wormhole production.

Of course neither have anything to do with Mohammed and indeed their papers refute his allegations. I did not contact them of course, but I have read their papers in detail.

Professor Kuhfittig, a respected mathmatician, has written papers describing wormholes using arbitrary small amounts of exotic matter and Dr. Fewster with T. A. Roman have written two papers in 2005 in which they show problems with such wormholes and others proposed by other authors.

(From the summary)

We have analyzed the recent wormhole models of Visser, Kar, and Dadhich, and of Kuhfittig. (…) We showed that …macroscopic wormholes of the Visser-Kar-Dadhich type are ruled out or severely constrained. For the Kuhfittig models ,,, radially infalling particles and light rays reach the throat only after an infinite lapse of affine parameter, due to the extremely slow flaring of the wormhole throat. Related constraints were also derived for two of Kuhfittig’s earlier models

And so the latest references given by Mohammed turn out to stike his comments down and my points still stand as to the non-feasability of wormholes to be traversable and indeed, in some cases to have either submicroscopic entrances and/or take forever to enter.

To go a step further, Roman V. Buniy and Stephen D.H. Hsu have studied and written a paper on this subject as well, Semi-classical wormholes are unstable.

They have this to say in their discussion:

Such a device would presumably behave unpredictably and might transport its payload to an undesirable time or place. We have shown that semi-classicality of the spacetime is a strong enough condition to imply phase space localization of the wave-function of the stabilizing matter. This means the time evolution of type A devices will be semi-classical and well-approximated by the classical equations of motion. Such devices are unstable in any region where the NEC is violated. Wormholes cannot be both predictable and stable.

There is a BBC news article that references their paper. You can find it here Wormhole ‘no use’ for time travel There are excellent graphics and the title tells you that it is in agreement with my own post (Or I am in agreement with theirs, written first) regarding use of wormholes for time travel.

Oldtimer

6. Jon

You wouldn’t burn up in the wormhole, it would be a vaccume.

7. Harsh Gupta

Can You Give a more detailed mathematical description of The Wormhole Problems.