Telescopes can see Shadows of Wormholes

Telescopes can see Shadows of Wormholes

According to a scientist, the cosmic shortcuts proposed by Albert Einstein, more than a 100 years ago, might be real.

A wormhole can provide shortcuts for the long journey across the universe. This is a passage through space-time which is associated with fiction and science theory at least for now. The theory of general relativity was used to propose their existence. However, no physical evidence is found till date in this regard.

These hypothetical tunnels allow you to travel faster than light to make incredible distances in space in no time. According to a scientist, wormholes can leave dark tracks in the sky that can be observed through a telescope. A similar method of detection is used to locate black holes as we don’t look for them directly. Instead, the effects they cause to the surrounding space guides us about their presence.

The next question that might be arising in your mind, right now, is that how can we differentiate between both of these shadows. The shadows of wormholes are oblong and slightly bend while the ones created by black holes are more circular in shape. Rajibul Shaikh, the Physicist from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India who proposed this theory, explained that it would be very easy to locate wormholes in the future given that they have the right amount of spin. He said,

The results obtained here indicate that, through the observations of their shadows, the wormholes which are considered in this work and have reasonable spin, can be distinguished from a black hole.”

Wormholes are used frequently in sci-fi movies these days as people travel through space or across time through some portals. If the theory of relativity is to be believed, they certainly do exist and have the potential to transfer people from one part of the universe to another. Its theoretical explanation suggests that two points that are very far from each other are joined in four dimensions as space folds itself.

Shaikh explained the reasons why scientists failed to distinguish these wormholes despite studying them in the past. He said that the researchers didn’t consider the channel that it connects to. This had an adverse effect on the accuracy of the data. He believes that scientists will be able to differentiate the shadows caused by wormholes from those of black holes by using the improved version of data he collected.

Space-time around these regions is so distorted that it is not possible for light to pass straight through it. Photons of light gather around the wormhole which generates a bright ring. The particles that go too close fall through the wormhole leaving behind a dark void called a ‘Shadow’. He summed it up in the following words:

In the observer’s sky, the scattered photons form bright spots, whereas the photons captured by the wormhole form dark spots. The union of the dark spots in the observer’s sky constitute the shadow.”   

Rajibul studied only Teo Class Rotating Wormhole for his research. The Event Horizon Telescope is expected to verify his results once it is developed and starts functioning. The original purpose behind this telescope was to have detailed examinations of black holes. Following this experiment, it can be used for locating these wormholes as well as they exhibit a specific type of shadow which separates them from the black holes. Shaikh is planning to continue his research in this field. He showed hope and determination as he said,

It will be interesting to see whether or to what extent the conclusions are drawn here carry over to a broader class of rotating wormholes.

A lot of people have shown their reservations on this theory proposed by Shaikh and John Friedman, a Physicist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is one of them. Explaining the reasons for his disagreement, he said that the type of wormhole chosen by Shaikh has simpler, unrealistic symmetry and his analysis will fail when a more realistic wormhole is considered.

The unpredictability of exotic matter is the basic cause for this because the knowledge of the geometry of the space-time fabric is necessary to calculate the shadows. As no one knows what this matter is, finding the shadows will remain a mystery because exact geometry cannot be defined. Whether Shaikh’s theory creates revolutions or will the opinion of Friedman thrive, only time will tell.

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Muneeb ud Deen
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