Wormholes are theoretical gateways that are believed to link points of enormous distance in space-time and are normally depicted as gigantic holes that connect by way of thin tunnels. While their shape is technically not known, a Russian physicist believes he has found the perfect way to measure the shape of these wormholes.
Roman Konoplya, an associate professor at the Institute of Gravitation and Cosmology at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) and the author of a new study on wormholes, has suggested that the shape of symmetric wormholes can be measured by looking at the effect these objects have on gravity and light, as Live Science report.
Despite the fact that wormholes haven’t actually been proven yet by science, they are certainly possible according to the theory of general relativity. And whether they are real or not, scientists do understand gravitational waves and light very well, which means that they can study the redshift in light around them. If you understand this redshifting around what could very well be a wormhole, you can analyze the frequencies of gravitational waves to give you an indication of how that wormhole may be shaped.
However, Konoplya notes that physicists usually work this in reverse, and look at shapes that are already known to figure out how gravity and light act in accordance with them. To determine if there is redshift around a suspected wormhole, Konoplya believes that gravitational lensing might work well. He also suggests that analyzing electromagnetic radiation around a wormhole and then measuring it could also be helpful.
Jolyon Bloomfield, a lecturer in the physics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explained that the new study on determining the shape of wormholes could really work by paying attention to decaying frequencies in oscillation.
“All the different frequencies — that tells you the different vibrational modes of that taut skin. What this paper is doing is kind of the same thing for a wormhole. If we are actually able to ‘listen’ to decaying frequencies of oscillation of a wormhole with enough precision, we can infer the shape of the wormhole by the spectrum of the frequencies and how fast they decay.”
To figure out what equation to use, Konoplya uses the theoretical redshift values of potential wormholes and then worked out how its electromagnetic waves would be affected by gravitational ripples in space-time so that both the mass and shape of the wormhole could be properly calculated.
Since wormholes are purely theoretical, these new calculations can’t be acted upon currently, but further experiments and studies could certainly expand on Konoplya’s work.
The new study on measuring the shapes of wormholes has been published in Physics Letters B.