New research is suggesting that wormholes might be detected much easier than we had previously thought, and with the simple use of a telescope. With wormholes leaving their telltale bent shadow behind, in theory, we may be able to spot the difference in these in comparisons with the much more round shadows that are left behind by black holes.
According to physicist Rajibul Shaikh, as long as the wormholes have just the right amount of spin, he believes that it may be quite simple to locate them in the future, as ScienceAlert report.
“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.”
The theory of general relativity predicts that wormholes almost certainly must exist, and if they do, these tunnels could lead passengers from one part of the universe to a multitude of other places due to the warping of space-time.
While physicists have previously studied the hypothetical shadow of a wormhole, they hadn’t taken into consideration its throat, or the channel that it connects to, according to Shaikh. With his new calculations, Rajibul believes that physicists may one day be able to take his improved data and differentiate the shadow of a wormhole from that of a black hole.
“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.”
— Live Science (@LiveScience) April 16, 2018
While Rajibul Shaikh’s new research has only studied one specific type of wormhole, which is known as a Teo class rotating wormhole, the Event Horizon Telescope, which is currently in the process of being built, may eventually help to verify these new results.
Once the EHT is completed and looks closely at black holes, it is certainly feasible that it could also take this new research and focus on the specific type of shadow that would only be left behind by a wormhole of this type.
While the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s John Friedman has doubts about the existence of macroscopic wormholes, Shaikh is looking forward to future research on the subject.
“It will be interesting to see whether or to what extent the conclusions drawn here carry over to a broader class of rotating wormholes.”
Those who are interested in reading the new study on wormholes casting shadows that could be caught by telescope can find it online at arXiv.