Science fiction novels and films are filled with far-fetched ideas and are often the starting point for an action-packed adventure rather than a serious attempt to predict future trends in science or technology. Some of the most common metaphors, such as accelerating a spacecraft to fantastic speeds in a matter of seconds without crushing passengers, are simply impossible according to the laws of physics as we understand them. However, these same laws seem to allow for other seemingly far-fetched sci-fi concepts, from wormholes to parallel universes. Here is a summary of some of the sci-fi ideas that can be made – in theory at least.
The idea of a wormhole – a shortcut through space that allows for near-instant flight between distant parts of the universe – appears to have been created as an imaginary driver. But under the more formal name of the Einstein-Rosen bridge, the concept actually existed as a serious theoretical concept long before science fiction writers understood it. get out of Albert Einsteinfrom General theory of relativitywhat do you see gravity Such as the distortion of spacetime caused by massive objects. Together with physicist Nathan Rosen, Einstein developed a theory in 1935 that suggested the existence of an extremely strong gravitational force, such as black holes, can be directly related to each other. So the idea of wormholes was born.
The forces surrounding a black hole would destroy anyone who got close to it, so the idea of traveling through a wormhole wasn’t seriously considered until the 1980s, when astrophysicist Carl Sagan decided he’d write a science fiction novel. to me BBCSagan encouraged fellow physicist Kip Thorne to develop a viable method for traveling interstellar distances in an instant. Thorne duly devised a method – theoretically possible, but unlikely in practice – by which a human could make an interstellar journey through a wormhole unharmed. The result found its way into Sagan’s novel.his job(Simon and Schuster: 1985), which was later made into a movie with Jodie Foster in the lead role.
While wormholes are unlikely to become a simple and convenient means of transportation depicted in movies, scientists have now discovered more. A viable method for constructing a wormhole From Thorne’s original suggestion. It is also possible that if wormholes exist in the universe, their location can be determined using a new generation of gravitational wave detectors.
The prerequisite for most space adventure stories is the ability to get from A to B much faster than we can today. In addition to wormholes, there are many obstacles to achieving this using a conventional spacecraft. There’s the massive amount of fuel required, the massive effects of acceleration, and the fact that the universe has it Strictly enforced speed limit. This is the speed at which light travels – the exact speed Light year per year, which is far from fast in the cosmic context. Proxima Centauri, the second closest star to Earth, is 4.2 light years from the Sun, while the Galactic Center is 27,000 light years away.
Fortunately, there is a loophole in the cosmic speed limit: it only determines the maximum speed at which we can travel through space. As Einstein explained, space itself can be distorted, so perhaps the space around the spacecraft can be manipulated in a way that subverts the speed limits. The spacecraft will still travel through surrounding space at less than the speed of light, but space itself will move faster than that.
That’s what Star Trek writers had in mind when they came up with the concept of “Motor Warp” in the 1960s, but to them it was just a plausible statement, not real physics. It wasn’t until 1994 when theorist Miguel Alcubierre found a solution to Einstein’s equations that produced the true torsion engine effect, Live Science’s sister site Reported by Space.com, reducing the space in front of the spacecraft and extending it to the aft. First, Alcubierre’s solution is no less innovative than Thorne’s impending wormhole, but scientists are trying to improve it in the hope that it will one day become practical.
One of the greatest plot devices in science fiction is the concept of a time machine, allowing characters to go back and change the course of history – for better or for worse. But this inevitably raises logical paradoxes. In Back to the Future, for example, would Doc have built his own time machine if Marty hadn’t visited him in the future using the same machine? Because of paradoxes like this, many people assume that time travel should be impossible in the real world – however, according to the laws of physics, can really happen.
As with wormholes and the curvature of space, the physics that tell us time travel is possible comes from Einstein’s general theory of relativity. This treats space and time as part of the same ‘space-time’ chain in which the two are closely related. Just as we talk about distorting space with a wormhole or a warp unit, time can also be distorted. Sometimes, it can become so deformed that it flexes itself, in what scientists call “closed time curve– although it could rightly be called a time machine.
A conceptual design for this time machine was published in 1974 by physicist Frank Tipler, according to physicist David Lewis Anderson, who describes research on Anderson InstitutePrivate research lab. Called the Tipler cylinder, it should be large — at least 60 miles (97 kilometers) long, according to Humble — and extremely dense, with a total mass comparable to that of the Sun. To make it work like a time machine, the cylinder would have to spin fast enough to warp spacetime to the point where time bends back in on itself. It may not sound as simple as installing a DeLorean flow capacitor, but it does get the job done – on paper at least.
The original sci-fi example of teleportation is “Star Trek”“ A carrier, as the name suggests, is simply described as a convenient means of transporting people from one place to another. But teleportation is very different from any other form of teleportation: Instead of the traveler moving through space from the starting point to the destination, teleportation results in the creation of a replica at the destination while the original is destroyed. Given these terms – and at the level of subatomic particles rather than a human – teleportation is indeed possible, according to IBM.
The real world process is called quantum teleportation. This process copies the exact quantum state of one particle, such as a photon, onto another particle that may be hundreds of kilometers away. Quantum teleportation destroys the quantum state of the first photon, so it actually appears that the photon has been magically teleported from one place to another. The coup is based on what Einstein called “spooky action from afar”, but is more formally known as Quantum entanglement. If a photon to be “teleported” touches one of a pair of entangled photons, and the resulting state measurement is sent to the receiving end – where the other entangled photon is – then the last photon can be shifted to the same photon stating as the teleported photon.
It’s a complex process, even for a single photon, and there’s no way to scale to the kind of teleportation system seen in “Star Trek.” However, quantum teleportation really has it Important applications In the real world, such as hack-resistant communications and ultra-fast quantum computing.
The universe is all that our telescopes reveal to us – all billions of galaxies are expanding the big explosion. But is this all about? The theory says maybe not: there can be everything multiverse of the universes there. The idea of ”parallel universes” is another familiar sci-fi subject, but when portrayed on screen it often differs from our idea only in small details. But the truth could be much stranger than that, as the basic parameters of physics in a parallel universe — such as the force of gravity or nuclear forces — differ from ours. A classic description of a truly different universe of this kind, and the creatures that inhabit it, is Isaac Asimov’s novel “The Gods Themselves”“(double day: 1972).
Key to the modern understanding of parallel universes is the concept of “eternal inflation”. This represents the structure of infinite space in a state of constant and incredibly rapid expansion. Every now and then, a point in this space – a self-contained big explosion – erupts from general expansion and begins to grow at a quieter rate, allowing physical objects such as stars and galaxies to form within it. According to this theory, our universe is one of these regions, but there can be countless others.
As in Asimov’s story, these parallel universes can have very different physical parameters than our own. Scientists believe that only universes with the same parameters as ours can support life, but recent studies suggest that the situation may not be as restrictive as this, Live Science previously reported. So there is hope for Asimov’s aliens so far – albeit not communicated with them, as in the novel. However, the effects of other universes may be detectable to us by other means. It has even been suggested that the mysterious “cold spot” at the bottom of the cosmic microwave is the scar from the collision with a parallel universe, writes Evan Baldry, professor of astrophysics at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. conversation.
Originally published in Live Science.
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