Scientists simulate a “baby” wormhole without breaking space and time

It’s a sci-fi stalwart, it’s tiny, and it doesn’t exist in physical space, but researchers say they’ve created what is, in theory, a wormhole.

Researchers have announced that they simulated two tiny black holes in a quantum computer and transmitted a message between them through what amounted to a tunnel in space-time.

They said that based on the teleported quantum information, a traversable wormhole appeared to have emerged, but no space and time ruptures were physically created in the experiment, according to the study published in the Nature magazine on Wednesday.

A wormhole – a break in space and time – is considered a bridge between two distant regions of the universe. Scientists call them Einstein-Rosen bridges after the two physicists who described them: Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen.

“He looks like a duck, he walks like a duck, he quacks like a duck. So that’s what we can say at this point – that we have something that, in terms of the properties we’re looking at, looks like a wormhole,” said physicist and study co-author Joseph Lykken. Fermilab, the American particle physics and accelerator laboratory.

Caltech physicist Maria Spiropulu, co-author of the research, described it as having the characteristics of a “baby wormhole”, and now hopes to create “adult wormholes and wormholes for toddlers step by step”. Wormhole dynamics have been observed on a quantum device from Google called the Sycamore quantum processor.

Experts who were not involved in the experiment cautioned that it was important to note that a physical wormhole had not actually been created, but noted future possibilities.

Daniel Harlow, a physicist at MIT, told the New York Times that the experiment was based on modeling so simple that it could just as well have been studied using pencil and paper.

“I would argue that this doesn’t tell us anything about quantum gravity that we didn’t already know,” Harlow wrote. “On the other hand, I think it’s exciting as a technical achievement, because if we can’t even do it (and until now we couldn’t), then simulating quantum gravity theories more interesting would certainly be out of place.”

The authors of the study themselves made it clear that scientists are still far from being able to send people or other living beings through such a portal.

“Experimentally, for me, I’ll tell you, it’s very, very far. People come up to me and say, ‘Can you put your dog in the wormhole?’ So, no,” Spiropulu told reporters during a video briefing. “…It’s a huge leap forward.”

Lykken added: “There is a difference between something that is possible in principle and possible in reality.

“So don’t hold your breath about sending your dog through the wormhole. But you have to start somewhere. And I think it’s just exciting that we can get our hands on it. “

Such wormholes are consistent with Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which focuses on gravity, one of the fundamental forces in the universe. The term “wormhole” was coined by physicist John Wheeler in the 1950s.

“These ideas have been around for a long time and they are very powerful ideas,” Lykken said. “But at the end of the day, we’re in experimental science, and we’ve been fighting for a very long time to find a way to explore these ideas in the laboratory. And that’s what’s really exciting about it. It’s not just, ‘Well, wormholes are cool.’ It’s a way to really examine these very fundamental problems of our universe in a lab environment.

With Reuters

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