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Space Science

Stellar Wormholes May Exist 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the into-the-gamma-quadrant dept.
seagirlreed writes "Pairs of stars could be connected via wormholes filled with 'phantom matter,' according to Kyrgyz researchers. If a wormhole exists within a star, the stellar body may exhibit measurable properties astronomers might detect. Although interesting, other scientists are skeptical, pointing out that this is highly speculative research."
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Stellar Wormholes May Exist

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  • by thomst (1640045) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:05AM (#35396960) Homepage
    Stellar wormholes exist? Yay interstellar subway system!
  • by FlapHappy (937803) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:06AM (#35396966) Journal
    You know, the one that starts, "If we just flying the ship into the sun..."
    • That would end your trip real fast, wouldn't it Luke?
    • A Langston Field [wikipedia.org] will protect you from the heat and radiation, at least for a while...

    • I was going to go with one of a dozen SG-1/SGA episodes myself.

      Suns + wormholes almost always result in a rockin' 1960s adventure - unless it results in changing the makeup of a star and (nearly) dooming the neighboring civilizations.

      • by sznupi (719324)
        And wormholes are almost always the result of world choices meant to ease production, most notably the work of scriptwriters or authors.
        • Sometimes you just need the ability to bring two points together when no straight line between them exists.
          • by Thuktun (221615)

            Sometimes you just need the ability to bring two points together when no straight line between them exists.

            A straight line exists, it's just at a higher dimension.

          • by sznupi (719324)
            Heck, I'd like to do it probably daily. Sadly, wishful thinking fails yet again... and again ;/

            But seriously, IMHO that's often a case of limited (but "broad", man!...) imagination. And/or making our world much smaller than it is (but comfortable for minds used to circumstances on Earth)
            Choosing two points which are quite close generally - so communication is fairly rapid - but requirement for some very high energy maneuver precludes them from being easily reachable (say, very different inclinations /
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        I was going to go with one of a dozen SG-1/SGA episodes myself.

        Suns + wormholes almost always result in a rockin' 1960s adventure - unless it results in changing the makeup of a star and (nearly) dooming the neighboring civilizations.

        Or blowing up the star and its planetary system and hurling you into another galaxy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:12AM (#35397026)
    Is there any evidence to support this hypothesis whatsoever? Or is this purely based on random scifi-based wishful thinking? The article seems to say "if you accept that A (which really has nothing to support it at all) is true, then B can also be true." Uhh, yeah.
    • by stardaemon (834177) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:19AM (#35397088)
      Which may be interesting if B also gives A, and B is testable.
      Otherwise, not so much.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ocean_soul (1019086)
      This is strictly hypothetical, with no evidence whatsoever. This is totally not newsworthy because a) it is nothing new, the theoretical possibility of this is long known b) it is very unlikely that this hypotheses is true. This hypotheses is itself build on other, probably untrue, hypotheses and assumptions. (says a theoretical physicist)
    • Is there any evidence to support this hypothesis whatsoever? Or is this purely based on random scifi-based wishful thinking? The article seems to say "if you accept that A (which really has nothing to support it at all) is true, then B can also be true." Uhh, yeah.

      Worse: It's "If you accept A (which not only has nothing to support it at all, but actually has strong theoretical reasons to assume to be false) is true, then it cannot be completely excluded that B could also be true."

      • by tkprit (8581)
        Exactly; it's sci-fi. I get my fill from ST reruns, not /. Sux.
      • "If you accept A (which not only has nothing to support it at all, but actually has strong theoretical reasons to assume to be false)"

        Given you appear to be talking about "phantom matter", care to back that up? Sure, it violates a couple of energy conditions but those energy conditions themselves are pretty arbitrary in the first place. "Phantom matter" is also known as "dark energy" and like it or not, there's a hell of a lot of support for something like dark energy. You have to be very clear about what y

    • by sjames (1099)

      There is none at all. It is just some interesting what if type speculation at the moment. It suggests a few things to look out for in the future, but we haven't seen any of them yet/

  • by Blackout for Hungary (1970198) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:21AM (#35397094)
    Locked!
  • by MoldySpore (1280634) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:26AM (#35397136)
    If only we could find Daniel Jackson, they'd be able to unlock the mystery of wormholes...and then our military can take over it just like they do everything else. ;) Even Stargate didn't dispute that fact!
  • In fact she married Bill Posters while he was in prison...

  • Isn't all research essentially speculative?
  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:45AM (#35397282)

    TFA says "Also, if the wormhole is short, so that the two stars it links don't lie far apart, an observer might see another unusual signpost -- two closely spaced objects with nearly identical properties."

    However, the wormhole doesn't need to be short, which would mean regions of the universe far apart from each other would have similar properties if wormholes existed.

    This would solve one of the big problems in modern cosmology, the horizon problem [wikipedia.org]: how can regions of the universe that couldn't possibly have communicated with each other in the lifetime of the universe have similar properties?

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Given Inflation solves both the horizon problem and the flatness problem and it's predictions agree with a bunch of observations, and it's part of mainstream Big Bang theory; the horizon problem isn't really a problem anymore, and certainly doesn't need FTL travel via wormholes...

      • "the horizon problem isn't really a problem anymore"

        You are kidding, right? Ok, wormholes aren't a nice explanation, but...

    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      TFA says "Also, if the wormhole is short, so that the two stars it links don't lie far apart, an observer might see another unusual signpost -- two closely spaced objects with nearly identical properties."

      However, the wormhole doesn't need to be short, which would mean regions of the universe far apart from each other would have similar properties if wormholes existed.

      Oh, wormholes definitely exist; I see the birds picking at them outside my window. Yay spring!

    • by warGod3 (198094)

      "Also, if the wormhole is short, so that the two stars it links don't lie far apart, an observer might see another unusual signpost -- two closely spaced objects with nearly identical properties."

      And the sign says "No gas for 1,000,000,000 miles" or "McDonalds ahead"?

      • "Also, if the wormhole is short, so that the two stars it links don't lie far apart, an observer might see another unusual signpost -- two closely spaced objects with nearly identical properties."

        And the sign says "No gas for 1,000,000,000 miles" or "McDonalds ahead"?

        The sign next to the wormhole leading to our solar system reads:

        Quarantined Zone: Human Infestation.
        Don't Panic!

        All craft exiting this wormhole will be vaporized on sight.

        Have a nice day, We apologize for the inconvenience
        -- God

    • ... "would solve" is a very strong statement. "Might solve" would be closer, and you'd have to find a way of getting stars to form before the formation of the CMB, or for the rebalancing of the CMB between its formation and the present epoch to not fuck up the anisotropies, which are now very well observed and fit predictions from inflation to a very good degree.

  • Strange Matter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mbone (558574) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:51AM (#35397336)

    The original paper [arxiv.org] makes it clear that this, like every other wormhole solution in General Relativity, requires "strange matter" - in their case, "as exotic matter, a massless ghost scalar field has been chosen". The interesting thing is that it links two stars together in a way that may have observable consequences (material would flow from one star to the other to keep the pressure in the cores equal, which would change how the star would evolve from one in isolation).

    Note that these wormholes require the "exotic matter" to exist, so it's a mistake to say that this proves they can exist or whatever, as there is no actual evidence for any of the strange or exotic matter possibilities required to support them.

    Now, suppose that such exotic matter does exist. Could this be used for transportation by an advanced civilization ? Maybe. You would have to find a wormhole end point in orbit about a black hole, and wait (or engineer) for the star to expand and for the black hole to "eat" the star's gas. If that process could go to completion, voila !, a naked wormhole would be left, and, if that were stable, you could use it for transportation.

    Figuring out the necessary black hole engineering to do this is left as an exercise for the reader.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Figuring out the necessary black hole engineering to do this is left as an exercise for the reader.

      But that's not required in order to file a patent on the process.

    • by Artifakt (700173)

      It has a certain elegance - the black hole clears both ends of the wormhole so the exit is as usable as the entrance. It's also a very testable model - it predicts we would see some stars being gobbled up by black holes AND some stars being gobbled up by nothing at all.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      the wormholes would have more profound effect once one of the stars collides with something else, no?

      but how would the wormhole happen originally, spontaneously? why would the two stars be connected? that question doesn't go away even if you decide to use a magic property to explain the actual link, there's still the problem of the link happening in the first place or do they just ping to ether and see if a link occurs?

      what the author has actually done, has been to invent a theory that could be used every t

    • by mburns (246458)

      Michio Kaku explains in his book, HYPERSPACE, that, in the theoretical construction, worm holes are the goal, and exotic matter is the deduced means or source of this effect. Unfortunately, both the source and the effect are contradictory to more fundamental properties of spacetime. Actually, superluminal spacial horizons do not have end points, they are conserved out to infinity by reason of the Bianchi identity, "The boundary of a boundary is zero". Exotic matter is likewise inconsistent; the negative mas

  • "about the space ship mission to the sun, they were going to go at night". no wonder we never heard from them, they went through the worm hole, (and got worms)
  • Assuming they exist, I wonder if they'd be more likely to form between binary stars. If not, then pairs might as well be between galaxies; making the phenomenon exceedingly difficult to find.
  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:05PM (#35397930)

    So far, scientists have invented the following imaginary forms of matter/energy in an attempt to prop up their failed models and understanding in recent times: Dark Matter, Dark Energy and now Phantom Matter. They have also created concepts like cosmic strings, branes and a multiverse. We don't have the technology to test for or detect any of those things. Isn't anyone else bothered by this? We all laugh at the idea of "ether" now but why are so many ready to accept these new invented types of matter/energy?

    It seems to me that if these scientist were interested in pursuing intellectual honesty, they would admit that the models are broken and go back to the drawing board rather that trying to create something out of thin air.

    I find it ironic that people on the internet these days like to put down faith and god but seem to completely miss that these scientists making shit up and you are just accepting it as fact.

    • by PPH (736903)

      'Doing the math' on such hypothetical forms of matter allows scientists to make testable predictions about them. Then, if someone should see a bizarre new particle in an accelerator they'll recognize it as possibly satisfying the hypothesis.

      At least it will allow them to make predictions about the size and power of the next big accelerator needed to settle the question and allow the hunt for funding to commence.

    • by mbone (558574)

      This work has nothing to do with dark matter or dark energy (at least, as far as we know).

      The model may be broken, but pursuing unusual solutions of the field equations assuming materials with unusual properties is not evidence for it.

      • Well, to be fair, this "phantom matter" is something that looks suspiciously like a dark energy. It's just a fluid violating an energy condition. If you read the original paper, they even use dark energy as the first motivating example -- although the matter they choose to employ is something that wouldn't normally be used as a dark energy because it's a "ghost" field and can cause some major problems with stability.

        • by mbone (558574)

          Yes, but this mathematics is really more like the equivalent of mathematical physicists playing with Legos. They are not trying to fix anything, they are postulating wild and crazy stuff and asking, what can we make of it ?

          • by jouassou (1854178)
            I'm all out of mod points, but this should certainly be +5 insightful.

            Nobody is saying that stellar wormholes exist in our universe. They mathematically create a hypothetical universe in which exotic matter forms does exist, and then go on to unravel the possible implications this might have. In addition to unraveling the possible consequences of existing hypotheses, some of which might prove testable at our current or near-future technology level, the work is interesting in it's own right. And the impor
            • Yes, except their motivation for saying that exotic matter exists is the widely-accepted notion that dark energy exists -- and much as you may dislike it (and I'm no fan myself, as a quick browse through my comments on slashdot would reveal), there is some very strong evidence that *something* of the sort has to exist. So let's take that evidence, which is both observational and theoretical, and assume that there's some basis behind it. That's the very nature of science: make repeated observations, use them

    • You forgot virtual particles (which arise from the ether)

      Modern physics still has an ether : the catch is that ether puts an absolute speed limit on things due to the limited refresh rate of the simulation engine running our universe.

    • Why do you laugh at the idea of "ether"? It's wrong but it was a perfectly reasonable theory at the time. I don't see anything laughable about it.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      You're hilarious. We can, and are, looking for dark matter, both as indirect observations and directly. We have indirectly observed dark energy. "Phantom matter?" You mean the stuff they're talking about in the article? That's not exactly "scientists" talking. It's some guys with an interesting hypothetical situation they're playing with.

      You clearly don't understand what you're criticizing, and very likely don't want to.

  • Congress will immediately begin cutting the budget for all intra-stellar mass transit.
  • Anyone ever read crackpots for fun? I've read Richard Hoagland's website a few times over the years, for laughs, and this sounds like the same type of "hyper-dimensional" bullshit that he claims to have "discovered". I love science, but this type of bullshit has to go. Unless there is some observation they've made, or some data they can point to, this isn't much different than Hoagland just making shit up.
    • by EdIII (1114411)

      I just did :)

      May favorite thing mentioned so far, "Nazis in space".

      I can't help but remember Jews in Space from Mel Brooks movies and wonder if there is not some epic space battles happening up there right now. Oy Vey!

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      They've used their model to predict observable effects. That's the way science works. Someone comes up with a crazy idea and someone figures out how to test whether it's real or not. The difference with the crackpots is that they either a) don't have models that will ever make actual predictions or b) refuse to believe evidence that their predictions are incorrect.

  • Can anyone explain to me the difference between 'highly speculative research' and pseudoscience? Apart from acceptance by the scientific community as being deserving of funds I am having trouble differentiating them.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      pseudoscience: oprah.
      speculative research: research fund applications.
      but you forgot: none of this speculative pseudostuff actually needs any money. why do you think quartz crystals are used as soulmate crystals and not diamonds? cheaper. writing theories on paper about magic matter needs you only to have someone to pay your food and some paper. kyrgyz might not have social security, but the university probably functions as one

      "physicist Vladimir Folomeev of the Institute of Physicotechnical Problems and Ma

      • I asked for an explanation of the difference, not two examples. I can furnish examples on my own. I also would like to point out that crystals are not a good example of pseudoscience as they are used for hundreds of valid scientific uses, eg. digital clocks, record players, cigarette lighters. Sure some people do crazy things with them but people also stab other people with ice picks, this does not invalidate the field of surgical medicine. Crystals have many amazing properties that we don't understand well

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