Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last century, you’ll have heard the name Einstein.
Aside from being a cultural reference for someone stupidly smart, Einstein was also a person.
Specifically, he was a scientist and one of the greatest scientists of our generation. If he wasn’t, then how do you already know his name?
Who Was Albert Einstein?
Born in Ulm, Germany, Einstein emigrated to the USA during World War 2 as he was a Jewish scientist and under threat from the Nazi regime.
He became an American citizen in 1940. His first major scientific discovery was that light is made up of particles called photons.
This idea was published in 1905 while he was still at university.
In 1915, Einstein proposed his theory of relativity which described gravity as curves rather than as a force.
It’s difficult to explain this theory fully without some maths, so here are some links:
- Relativity – Wikipedia (it’s long, but it gives a good rundown)
Now, we’re not just telling you about the Theory of Relativity to give you a maths headache. This theory is very relevant to wormholes.
However, for now, let’s focus on Einstein.
After moving to the USA, Einstein continued his work as a theoretical physicist, only this time it was for the opposing side.
Because of his immense intelligence, the Nazis wanted to use his knowledge to build a super-weapon they needed to keep their power over Europe.
They didn’t stop trying to recruit/kidnap Einstein, even after he moved, until after the war.
Einstein worked at Princeton University, where he spent eight years developing general relativity.
The whole point of Einstein’s paper was to prove that the universe couldn’t possibly be static as it would create a phenomenon known as the Cosmological Constant.
What caught everyone’s attention was the introduction of the cosmological constant.
The cosmological constant is a term used in modern science to describe energy or mass that continues to exist, even though the object no longer exists.
A simple example is if you placed a brick outside your house on Earth, it’s unlikely that the brick will fall apart due to gravity as there is no force acting upon the brick.
But what happens when you take that brick into space? Well, the brick doesn’t move because there is no force acting on it.
So, the brick remains stationary, even though it’s no longer attached to anything.
This concept is similar to the cosmological constant; it’s an invisible form of energy that acts as a “force” keeping the universe stable.
Einstein developed lots of theories like Quantum Theory, the Bose-Einstein Condensate, Wave-Particle Duality, and so many more.
Einstein single-handedly, but also with the input of those around him, managed to change the face of theoretical physics.
People attribute much of our scientific advancement to him.
Ironically, the one theory that has made the most impact, which is the theory of relativity, was the theory Einstein believed to be his biggest failure.
It wasn’t until after he died in 1955 that the theory of relativity was given validation and proven to be mathematically correct.
What Are Wormholes?
A wormhole is a term for a theoretical bridge between two separate points in space.
A wormhole could potentially connect distant stars allowing faster travel. If travel by conventional means took millions or billions of years, then using wormholes could cut that journey down to mere hours.
In Einstein’s theory, he realized it was possible to construct a bridge between any two objects through curved spacetime.
By manipulating these spaces, physicists can create routes, shortcuts, or portals.
The main problem with wormholes is that they need to have exotic matter to allow them to function properly.
Even less is known about how this stuff works than regular matter.
What Is The Theory Of Relativity?
The Theory of Relativity had two implications for us, they were:
- Gravity can be thought of as curved lines instead of straight lines.
- Time slows down when moving close to massive objects.
So, if these two things apply, what would happen if we could somehow create a wormhole?
Relativity And Wormholes
Well, according to general relativity, time dilation would make anyone inside the wormhole feel like they were much older than everyone else outside of it.
But wouldn’t there be no point in going into space because everything will take forever to get back home?
Well, it turns out that special relativity would cause any traveler to age a lot faster when traveling close to a supermassive black hole, but that effect won’t be noticeable until they’re very close to the event horizon.
This means that a person traveling near a supermassive black hole would only experience about 10% of their normal life span.
But why do we need to know this stuff? Why does it matter to us? What practical applications can we have from knowing all this?
Well, here are some examples:
- If we ever want to colonize other planets, we’d better figure out a way to stop people from getting stuck in the past.
- In order to build a warp drive, we’d need to use a wormhole to send someone ahead of us to set up the engine.
- A wormhole might even be able to help us prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth.
- And finally, wormholes may be the key to understanding dark energy.
Einstein And Wormholes
In his theory of Relativity, Einstein predicted wormholes using maths. Let me explain.
The only way you’d be able to know if there was a wormhole is by its effect on light passing nearby.
Other than that, wormholes are basically invisible.
Using Relativity, Einstein was able to predict the effect of light and also predicted that every black hole was paired with a white hole.
These two holes would exist in separate space and time but would bridge each other. Kind of like a wormhole.
So what we’re saying is that black holes could potentially just be one side of a wormhole.
Because of the density of a black hole, anything that enters is automatically crushed. So we have no way of validating this theory yet.
However, the maths behind it stands up and is what Einstein created to predict wormholes.
But why are wormholes and Relativity so important if wormholes technically haven’t been discovered?
Wormholes are important because they could theoretically link distant parts of our universe together.
That way, we could travel between them at speeds far greater than the speed of light.
For example, if we wanted to visit the planet Mars, which is around 60 million miles away from Earth, we could travel there in less than half an hour.
This is great news for those of us living in London, where we have to endure hours of traffic jams before we reach our destination.
Imagine not having to wait for your car to fill up with petrol or for the bus to arrive.
You could simply jump in your spaceship and zoom off to another galaxy.
That’s right; I said ‘spaceship.’ With the help of wormhole technology, you could definitely do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
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