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Tar Heel Pundits
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Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Wormholes and Space Travel

Wired has an interesting story on Black Holes, space travel, and wormholes. Basically, the laws of physics break down at the center of black holes (called the "singularity") and this might open the door for wormhole-like travel. Still, until now it has been thought that the severe gravitational forces pulling on an object falling into a black hole would destroy anything falling into it, making the question about whether you could use one for space travel moot. (If the gravity of a black hole is strong enough to capture light, what do you think it would do to a spaceship?) University of Utah physicist Lior Burko has published a paper that raises the possibility that some black holes could have "Cauchy horizon singularities," or singularities that may not be destructive but still could act as openings to a wormhole.

While there seem to be a few obstacles to actually testing this hypothesis, black holes and related astronomy topics are fascinating to me. Since I have had to put down The Universe in a Nutshell due to my workload at school and upcoming final exams, it was nice to read an interesting article about this area of science.

posted by John Branch @ 5:18 PM

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