Physics

Science Fiction and Science Edging Closer



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Will we ever be able to explore the universe, travel to other worlds and find new races? In this article I explore this.

Worm Holes and Faster Than Light travel have been used in Science Fiction for a long time. Shows Like Star Trek ans Stargate are two of the best out there.

Voyager 1, traveling at around 1/18000 the speed of light covered 1/600th of a light-year in 30 years. It would take 72,000 tears to get to our next nearest star Proxima Centauri. This would not be of any use to us and so we need to look finding a faster way.

Now with the new missions in the pipeline like a manned mission to mars we have space craft capable of faster speeds. At the moment it takes a rocket 9 months to get to mars and at that speed it would take a long time to reach Proxima Centauri. And so even with the advancement of technology it would still not be viable to send a mission to Proxima Centauri.

If we had a space ship that could travel at 10% of the speed of light then it would take 40 years to reach Proxima Centauri. This is a lot better but still not very practical for a manned mission. There are some propulsion systems out there that can reach this speed but they are all very expensive and so not cost effective for a mission to use.

Now for the theoretical bit!

So if we could travel at the speed of light it would take a space craft under 5 years to reach Proxima Centauri

What about Wormholes?

Worm Holes are a theoretical unstable connection between a black hole and a white hole.

In 1916 Karl Schwarzschild derived the first model of a black hole.

Nothing can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole, not even a particle moving at the speed of light. It is a location in space time that is impossible to escape.

A black hole is the name given to a dead star that has shrunk to below it's Schwarzchild Radius or gravitational radius. The stars initial mass determines if it will shrink below this radius.

White Holes are the theoretical exact opposite of black holes. The most technical definition of a white hole is that it is a black hole running backwards in time. It is a location in space time that is impossible to reach.

We cannot prove that White Holes exist and it would violate the second law of thermodynamics which states that heat naturally flows from a region of high temperature to a region of low temperature. This law only applies to our universe. White holes could exist in a parallel universe. They would be connected to a black hole by way of a worm hole in order to complete the Schwarzchild geometry that is suggested by the equation that predicts the that black holes exist. A worm hole that joins two different universes is known as the Einstein-Rosen bridge. It is one of the most fascinating concepts in theoretical physics.

A Einstein-Rosen bridge is a very exciting concept that little is known about. This is due to there being no white holes to observe and black holes are not very easy to detect.

In Stargate the SG teams use wormholes that created and held open by a 'Stargate' to traverse massive distances between planets.

The current theories state that it would be impossible to pass through a worm hole, and even if it was it would be impossible to return to where you started.

While there is no actual evidence of the existence of wormholes, they are valid solutions in general relativity.

Wormholes would be a great help to use exploring the universe if they did exist, but for now we will just have to watch Stargate and Star Trek DS9 reruns and imagine ourselves taking a trip through on to the other side of the universe.

Faster Than Light travel is impossible in Einstein's Special Relativity but Physicists are trying to rewrite the laws of physics to make it a theoretical possibility.

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