Wormholes Explained – Breaking Spacetime


If you saw a wormhole in reality, it would appear round, spherical, a bit like a black hole. Light from the other side passes through and gives you a window to a faraway place. Once crossed, the other side comes fully into view with your old home now receding into that shimmering spherical window. But are wormholes real, or are they just magic disguised as physics and maths? If they are real, how do they work and where can we find them? [Kurzgesagt Intro] For most of human history, we thought space was pretty simple; a big flat stage where the events of the universe unfold. Even if you take down the set of planets and stars, there’s still something left. That empty stage is space and it exists, unchanging and eternal. Einstein’s theory of relativity changed that. It says that space and time make up that stage together, and they aren’t the same everywhere. The things on the stage can affect the stage itself, stretching and warping it. If the old stage was like unmoving hardwood, Einstein’s stage is more like a waterbed. This kind of elastic space can be bent and maybe even torn and patched together, which could make wormholes possible. Let’s see what that would look like in 2D. Our universe is like a big flat sheet, bent in just the right way, wormholes could connect two very, very distant spots with a short bridge that you could cross almost instantaneously. Enabling you to travel the universe even faster than the speed of light. So, where can we find a wormhole? Presently, only on paper. General relativity says they might be possible, but that doesn’t mean they have to exist. General relativity is a mathematical theory. It’s a set of equations that have many possible answers, but not all maths describes reality. But they are theoretically possible and there are different kinds. EINSTEIN ROSEN BRIDGES The first kind of wormholes to be theorized were Einstein Rosen Bridges. They describe every black hole as a sort of portal to an infinite parallel universe. Let’s try to picture them in 2D again. Empty space time is flat, but curved by objects on it. If we compress that object, space-time gets more curved around it. Eventually, space-time becomes so warped that it has no choice but to collapse into a black hole. A one-way barrier forms: the event horizon, which anything can enter but nothing can escape; trapped forever at the singularity at its core. But maybe there is no singularity here. One possibility is that the other side of the event horizon looks a bit like our universe again but mirrored upside down, where time runs backwards. In our universe things fall into the black hole. In the parallel universe, with backwards time, the mirror black hole is spewing things out a bit like a big bang. This is called a white hole. Unfortunately, Einstein-rosen bridges can’t actually be crossed. It takes an infinite amount of time to cross over to the opposite universe and they crimp shut in the middle. If you go into a black hole, you won’t become the stuff coming out of the white hole. You’ll only become dead. So, to travel the cosmos in the blink of an eye, humans need a different kind of wormhole; a Traversable Wormhole. VERY OLD STRING THEORY WORMHOLES If string theory or one of its variations is the correct description of our universe, then we could be lucky and our universe might even have a tangled web of countless wormholes already. Shortly after the Big Bang, Quantum fluctuations in the universe at the smallest scales far far smaller than an atom may have created many, many traversable wormholes. Threaded through them are strings, called cosmic strings. In the first billionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, the ends of these tiny, tiny wormholes were pulled light-years apart; scattering them through the universe. If wormholes were made in the early universe, whether with cosmic strings or some other way, they could be all over; just waiting to be discovered. One might even be closer than we realize. From the outside, black holes and wormholes can look very similar; leading some physicists to suggest the supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies are actually wormholes. It will be very hard to go all the way to the center of the Milky Way to find out though, but that’s okay. There might be an equally extremely hard way to get our hands on a wormhole, we could try to make one. MANMADE WORMHOLES To be traversable and useful, there are a few properties we want a wormhole to have. First, it must obviously connect to distant parts of space-time. Like your bedroom and the bathroom, or Earth and Jupiter. Second, it should not contain any event horizons, which would block two-way travel. Third, it should be sufficiently sized so that the gravitational forces don’t kill human travelers. The biggest problem we have to solve, is keeping our wormholes open. No matter how we make wormholes, gravity tries to close them. Gravity wants to pinch it closed and cut the bridge; leaving only black holes at the ends. Whether it’s a traversable wormhole with both ends in ours, or a wormhole to another universe, it will try to close unless we have something propping it open. For very old string theory wormholes, that’s the cosmic strings job. For man-made wormholes, We need a new ingredient. Exotic matter. This isn’t anything like we find on earth, or even antimatter. It’s something totally new and different and exciting, with crazy properties like nothing that’s ever been seen before. Exotic matter is stuff that has a negative mass. Positive mass like people and planets and everything else in the universe, is attractive because of gravity. But negative mass would be repulsive; it would push you away. This makes a kind of anti-gravity the props open our wormholes. And exotic matter must exert enormous pressure to push space-time open, greater even than the pressure of the centers of neutron stars. With exotic matter, we could weave space-time however we see fit. We may even have a candidate for this exotic matter, the vacuum of space itself. Quantum fluctuations in empty space are constantly creating pairs of particles and antiparticles, only for them to be annihilated an instant later. The vacuum of space is boiling with them, and we can already manipulate them to produce an effect similar to the negative mass we’re looking for. We could use this to stabilize our wormholes. Once we’re keeping it open, the ends would start together. So, we’d have to move them around to interesting places. We could start by wiring the solar system; leaving one end of each wormhole in orbit around the earth. We could flick others into deep space. The earth could be a wormhole hub for a vast interstellar human civilization spread over light-years, but only a wormhole away. However, wormholes have a dark side. Even opening a single wormhole, kind-of breaks the universe in fundamental ways, potentially creating time travel paradoxes, and violating the causal structure of the universe. Many scientists think that this not only means they should be impossible to make, but that it’s impossible for them to exist at all. So, for now, we only know that wormholes exist in our hearts, and on paper in the form of equations. We know you want to know more about universe stuff, so, we’re trying something new. Kurzgesagt and Brilliant are collaborating on a six-part video series about our favorite science and space things. Thanks to their help, there will be more videos on this channel in the next six months. Kurzgesagt has worked with Brilliant for a while now, and we love what they’re doing. In a nutshell, Brilliant helps you to get ahead by mastering maths and science skills through actively solving challenging and fascinating problems. To support our collaboration with them, visit brilliant.org/nutshell and sign up for free today. The first 688 people that use the link will get 20% off their annual premium subscription. –FINAL SUBTITLE EDIT/READ BY: WinterPyro

100 thoughts on “Wormholes Explained – Breaking Spacetime

  1. What if the universe is really a massive particle and a universe of an antiparticle, if 0 can become 1+-1 why not 10000000000+-10000000000

  2. i think i saw an womhol once wen i looked thru my tellyscop cos i looked an saw a black swirl but i could see meinself lookin back at me i report it but noome called me back

  3. 3:04 other thing that could be is that if the “”mirror world”” refering to that parallel universe the time is going back and that will collide in the black hole with our time that is going normally in the center of the black hole the time will stop and if we could cross the black hole the time of the parallel universe will make us going back to the center were the time stops

    That is my teory

  4. I have a question. So like paper, something 2d in a 3d space, could we fold our 3 dimensional space in a 4d space and make ends touch without it changing our perspective in 3d.

  5. if you go through a black hole and come out of a white one how are you going to get back… the force of the white one is propelling you back

  6. For the heck of it, I did some maths at 1:38 , The distance covered by the photon from one side of the wormhole to the other was 1049273.603 kilometres (measured inaccurately with a stopwatch, the time it took for the photon to travel from one side of the wormhole to the other was approximately 3,5 seconds). That also means that the photon had an approximate wavelength of 47694.2546818 kilometres (in total, I counted 22 oscillations of the photon). This means that one phase of the photon is enough to go around the Earth's equator 1.19012488289 times. This also makes the phase more than 400 times longer than the longest radiowaves. Not really usefull information, but fun nonetheless.

  7. If exotic matter would be strong enough to repel time-space and keep a wormhole open, wouldn't it repel all other matter as well including humans? There would be that invisible force wall that wouldn't let you pass through just like when you try sticking two same poles of a magnet together, which means nothing would be able to go through anyway, just my opinion.

  8. Maybe the reason white holes releases particles is because the black hole spaghettifies it and releases it on the other side .

  9. That relatable moment when ur just hanging out in your room and suddenly a fucking portal to a pocket dimension appears

  10. Exotic Matter is not really matter if it has negative mass..

    Hypothesis suggests that wormholes are possible if there is such force stronger than a black hole or gravitational pull such that is will counter space-time compression in the universe. Indeed, higher technological innovation should be performed to create such.

    maybe, a type 3 civilization in consonance with the Kardashev typologies..

  11. You make me understand everything so easily in just 9:12 minutes while my school teacher tries that for 35. Minutes every working day

  12. this is like talking about a fridge before understanding a rocket engine. so let bullshit people talk about nothing but cgi and discuss things no one ever seen or been too
    fuck this crap channel

  13. How would you be able to go through a man made wormhole, if we were able to create them? You said, theoretically, that you could keep a man made wormhole open using exotic matter because it pushes other matter away from itself. If it pushes matter away from itself how would we be able to get passed it? Especially if it takes, as you said, "enormous pressure to keep space time open."

  14. { If we could make manmade wormholes and use Exotic Matter that WILL reverse gravity and stretch the wormhole back open so we can travel through, and NOT break the natural laws of the universe, how would we be able to travel through without getting pushed away by the exotic matter? It would be too strong for even objects that move beyond a Hyperspace Jump (from Star Wars). We’d have to move at the speed of time. (which basically stops time since we’re just as fast, if we could do that, we’d be able to do something infinitely fast and infinitely before someone does something after we stopped moving at the speed of time) So how will we be able to get past the Exotic Matter without getting pushed away? (Or you could stop time entirely then unfreeze it after going through the wormhole.)

    The answer is:
    No, we can’t unless we invent a solution to this problem, or if god(s) and/or goddess(es) existed and we DID have a way to get to them, we would need their power(s) to stop time in some way and be able to unfreeze it to get into the wormhole without being pushed. }

  15. Einstein-Rosen-Bridge: Black holes are like Gates into a different Universe

    Me: Cool get me through a Black hole!

    Video: You wont get into the other Dimension you will just be dead.

    Me: Cool get me through a black hole!

  16. Kurzgesagt: For manmade wormholes, we need a new incredient, EXOTIC MATTER
    Me: Exotic matter huh? Brings Exotic butters Well, what's the next incredient?

  17. Wouldn't the exotic matter just push away everything that tries to go through it? Also, what should happen to the earth if those wormholes around it, somehow combine and can only suck in half of the earth?

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