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On Wormholes and teleportation

 
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The concept of wormhole has been exploited by several sci-fi movies. You enter into a wormhole at one place in the universe and emerge at another place, which is potentially light years away from the entry point. Sounds great but I have a couple of things that I don't quite understand. May be someone here can shed some light on them -

1. If you imagine wormhole as a door, how do you imagine the whole body to be transported at the same time? Let's say you walk into the wormhole, and may be your hand goes in first, wouldn't your body be at the entry while your hand is light years away already? The only way it would work is if the wormhole works discretely. i.e. in pulses of transport phase and stationary phase. You first get all of the content that you want to transport in a particular space in stationary phase of the clock, and in the transport phase the whole of that space is transported at the same time to another location. What would be the frequency of such phase change? How would you synchronize with such frequency? Any error in synchronization, and your heart will be ripped apart

2. Another option is that a worm hole works like a pipe. Mass-Energy equivalence is well established. So I understand that mass can be converted into energy and transported at light speed and then reconverted back into mass. May be a wormhole works on the same principle. But what happens to the information contained in the mass. I mean, mass is not just a lump of atoms or molecules. It is a specific arrangement of molecules. It is like you melt an ice sculpture, pipe the water to another location, and re-create the sculpture. But how will you know the shape of the sculpture when you rebuild it from water?

3. Mass and energy can be considered two counterparts of the same thing. Neither can be created or destroyed but can only be converted from one form to another. Is there a counterpart of Information? It has been proven that you can transport mass by transporting energy and vice versa. Is there a counterpart of Information (call it X), such that you can transport information by transporting X and vice versa? As of now, the only way we have managed to transport information is by transporting energy/mass. If you were to transport the information content of a human body, I can't imagine the amount of energy required to transport all that information. How do you imagine a wormhole achieve that?

4. If you build a house, there is no change in mass of the material used but you do spend a lot of energy in building it obviously. All of that energy can be accounted for. But what about the information contained in the house. You have basically reduced the entropy of the mass used to build the house. As per second law of thermodynamics, entropy of the rest of the mass (the mass not used for building the house) must have increased by the same amount (or even more, because no process is 100% efficient). Does that mean, entropy can be considered as the counterpart of information? Probably not because entropy of the universe never decreases. Every action you do, increases the entropy of the universe.

Any thoughts?
 
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wow...
I love science fictions, but never thought this way.
One thing I always thought, there has to be something which travels faster than light.
 
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How do wormholes work? I'd have to do some research first.
Let me get back to you after watching all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1.
Oh, and 5 seasons of Stargate Atlantis, because I do want to be thorough.
 
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1. You know that if you leave the Earth and travel at high enough speed you will come back younger than your children. By the same token, if you swing your arms when you walk, your arms travel faster than the rest of your body and so your arms are continually advanced in time relative to the rest of your body. Your arms are not the same age as the slower parts of you. Yet you exist as one whole...

4. By building the house you have shorted the lifetime of the Universe by some finite amount. Shame on you!
 
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Tapas Chand wrote:
One thing I always thought, there has to be something which travels faster than light.



That is one mystery that mankind has not yet solved!
 
Paul Anilprem
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Jelle Klap wrote:How do wormholes work? I'd have to do some research first.


You need to do some research only if you can't spin a logical sounding yarn
 
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Wormholes don't work like a transporter, moving objects or energy at faster-than-light (FTL) speeds. Instead they're folds or bends in space. Here's an analogy:

Take a piece of paper with points A and B at opposite ends and make a Z-fold between the two points:


The "wormhole" here is between the fold that's close to A and where it ends up, close to B. You can draw a line (or "travel") from A to B, which is normally a long distance, by going "through the wormhole" and cutting a lot of distance out of the trip.

Of course, this operation requires that the paper, normally a 2D space, be folded through 3 dimensions. This means that 3D space would have to be "folded" through 4D space to create a wormhole. How hard can it be?
 
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Ryan McGuire wrote:Wormholes don't work like a transporter, moving objects or energy at faster-than-light (FTL) speeds.



Agreed. A transporter (aka Star Trek) and wormholes seems to be separate concepts. Wormholes may get the equivalent of a transporter in resultant effect, but the implementations are different.

As for faster than light travel, it seems that most science fiction do understand that it is not directly possible. This is why Star Trek warps the space -- effectively making the distance between two points shorter. Star Wars uses hyperspace, which is like travelling in another dimension (whose distance between the two points is shorter). The Battlestar Galactica FTL drive, which actually means "faster than light" also doesn't seem to be directly moving faster than light either. It jumps between two points, which arguable is a jump through another dimension or space folding -- never really explained in the show.

Anyway, I guess for this topic, we are talking about worm holes, which unlike the three mentioned so far, is a phenomenon that is not created by the craft doing the travelling. In that case, Deep Space Nine would be a good representation.


Oh, and let's not forget Space 1999, which has a moon that can go to a different solar system every week... with that ... hmmm... okay, let's do forget Space 1999...

Henry
 
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Watch out for stray asteroids!

 
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Guillermo Ishi wrote:By the same token, if you swing your arms when you walk, your arms travel faster than the rest of your body and so your arms are continually advanced in time relative to the rest of your body.


ummm...are you sure? as my arm swings forward, it is moving faster than my body relative to a point on the earth. However, my arm then has to swing backwards, thus my body is now moving faster relative to that point, so wouldn't it catch up?

and if you are saying my arm moves faster relative to a point on my body, then my body is also moving faster relative to a point on my arm. I think all these cancel each other out, no?
 
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Guillermo Ishi
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Guillermo Ishi wrote:By the same token, if you swing your arms when you walk, your arms travel faster than the rest of your body and so your arms are continually advanced in time relative to the rest of your body.


ummm...are you sure? as my arm swings forward, it is moving faster than my body relative to a point on the earth. However, my arm then has to swing backwards, thus my body is now moving faster relative to that point, so wouldn't it catch up?

and if you are saying my arm moves faster relative to a point on my body, then my body is also moving faster relative to a point on my arm. I think all these cancel each other out, no?


LOL! Hmm I don't know if it catches up or not. But before it did catch up, it would be displaced -- relative to points in space, and in time I suppose. Also of course the catching up would not be exactly precise -- a little bit of displacement is no less a paradox than a lot of displacement.
 
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Jelle Klap wrote:How do wormholes work? I'd have to do some research first.
Let me get back to you after watching all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1.
Oh, and 5 seasons of Stargate Atlantis, because I do want to be thorough.



Since Stargate was bought up, let's discuss it...

Obviously, the Stargate will generate a wormhole between two portals, and hence, the distance between them is much less than the actual distance between them, when not using the wormhole to travel.

My main issue is not the wormhole itself. My main issue is how the wormhole is established. The first stargate portal dials the other portal (like a phone call), and the two portals work together to establish the wormhole... but how is that even possible? Without the wormhole, there is no short path between the portals. This is even true for communications, which is restricted to the speed of light. So, if the other portal is light years away, it should take years before the other portal knows that the first portal want to establish a connection...

Henry
 
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Henry Wong wrote: Without the wormhole, there is no short path between the portals. This is even true for communications, which is restricted to the speed of light. So, if the other portal is light years away, it should take years before the other portal knows that the first portal want to establish a connection...


Thanks. You just ruined Stargate for me. Stay away from Firefly.
 
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J. Kevin Robbins wrote:
Thanks. You just ruined Stargate for me. Stay away from Firefly.



Firefly is actually contained in a single solar system, so it somewhat mitigates the need for faster than light travel. Also, some of the episodes do imply that it takes a while to travel from one end to the other.

Additionally, with such a short run, they never really explained how the drives worked... and you can't ruin something when it isn't explained...

Henry
 
Jelle Klap
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Henry Wong wrote:
My main issue is not the wormhole itself. My main issue is how the wormhole is established. The first stargate portal dials the other portal (like a phone call), and the two portals work together to establish the wormhole... but how is that even possible? Without the wormhole, there is no short path between the portals. This is even true for communications, which is restricted to the speed of light. So, if the other portal is light years away, it should take years before the other portal knows that the first portal want to establish a connection...
Henry


Subspace communication. All Stargates are permanently hooked up to a subspace network, so intercommunication doesn't depend on an active wormhole. This is how the DHDs reveive periodic updates to account for stellar drift, among other things. This communication network has also been (ab)used serveral times on the show to lock-out stargates or dial them all at once.
 
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Jelle Klap wrote:
Subspace communication. All Stargates are permanently hooked up to a subspace network, so intercommunication doesn't depend on an active wormhole. This is how the DHDs reveive periodic updates to account for stellar drift, among other things. This communication network has also been (ab)used serveral times on the show to lock-out stargates or dial them all at once.


Thank you! And all is right with the world again!

Wandering a bit off-topic, but I've wondered if quantum entanglement could be used for ftl communication. Could a pair of entangled particles act as a sort of telegraph system?
 
Jelle Klap
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J. Kevin Robbins wrote:

Jelle Klap wrote:
Subspace communication. All Stargates are permanently hooked up to a subspace network, so intercommunication doesn't depend on an active wormhole. This is how the DHDs reveive periodic updates to account for stellar drift, among other things. This communication network has also been (ab)used serveral times on the show to lock-out stargates or dial them all at once.


Thank you! And all is right with the world again!

Wandering a bit off-topic, but I've wondered if quantum entanglement could be used for ftl communication. Could a pair of entangled particles act as a sort of telegraph system?



Such a communication device is used in the game series Mass Effect.
I think it was introduced in Mass Effect 2 as a system on the Normandy SR-2. As an addition to the standard comm buoy network it was used as a highly secure means of transmitting point-to-point flash messages over an arbitrary distance. Very low bandwidh though.
 
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In Stargate, I believe the "Ancients" or "Old Ones" set up the original network (it's been a while, so forgive me) and there may have been the implication that at least some endpoints were established originally by slower-than-light travel. Probably by transporting an artefact that was quantum-paired with something on the other end. The "Ansible" device that Ursula LeGuin posited for instantaneous interstellar meddling communications seems to have been based on that idea also.

On the other hand, Stephen Hawking has speculated professionally on wormholes. Since they're presumed to be distortions of space-time, that makes them akin to, if not actual adjuncts of black holes.

According to one theory, a wormhole is practical, but would be of pinpoint diameter. Or at least couldn't be widened without extreme amounts of energy. There's also the consideration of whether being crammed through a wormhole would be fatal or not. According to some, tidal effects would rip you to shreds, possibly dilating time to prolong the agony. Another way of looking at it, however, is since space/time itself is distorted, the net effect would be no different than relativity. Yes, from an external point of view, you're being hideously distorted, just as the twin's clock slows down. But from another point of view, nothing's different at all. These considerations also apply to black holes. One of the big questions about black holes has always been, in fact, whether they're not themselves some sort of wormhole, since you either have to have some sort of "white hole" on the other side somewhere, randomly dissipate the absorbed matter/energy, or become more and more bloated until they eventually consume the entire Universe. Which apparently isn't considered likely, as some indications are that black holes could actually decay and cease to exist.

Wormholes are potentially a double-whammy, since they're both space/time distortions AND possibly tunnels through hyperspace.

And to round out things, I should mention that the Scifi series "Farscape" appeared to take place in a universe where the norm was hyperspace jumping ("starburst"), but wormholes also existed. And they were big enough to fly through, but could seriously mangle you.
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Guillermo Ishi wrote:By the same token, if you swing your arms when you walk, your arms travel faster than the rest of your body and so your arms are continually advanced in time relative to the rest of your body.


ummm...are you sure? as my arm swings forward, it is moving faster than my body relative to a point on the earth. However, my arm then has to swing backwards, thus my body is now moving faster relative to that point, so wouldn't it catch up?

and if you are saying my arm moves faster relative to a point on my body, then my body is also moving faster relative to a point on my arm. I think all these cancel each other out, no?



As a response to Guillermo's comment, I tend to agree with you. However, the "swinging hands" situation ends up being a variation of the Twins Paradox. For that calculation, it's not a question of cumulative displacement but rather of acceleration. As you walk, your abdomen experiences zero acceleration, for the sake of discussion. Your swinging hands, on the other hand, undergo acceleration alternating between forward and back (+x and -x). So yes... your hands are younger than the rest of your body. However, I assume that you walk much slower than the speed of light and the accelerations involved are on a similarly small scale, so the accumulated age difference between your hands and your abdomen over your life span would be pretty darn small.

Back in college, the variation I came up with was the Siamese Twins Paradox: What would happen if one of a pair of siamese twins ran in a circle while the second one just rotated in-place?


 
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Ryan McGuire wrote: . . . What would happen if one of a pair of siamese twins ran in a circle while the second one just rotated in-place?

XKCD was there before you.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:XKCD was there before you.



They usually are.
 
Ryan McGuire
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Ryan McGuire wrote: . . . What would happen if one of a pair of siamese twins ran in a circle while the second one just rotated in-place?

XKCD was there before you.



Oh please... this isn't even close to a Twins Paradox or other relativity reference. It's all about angular momentum. It is very physics geeky, so bonus points for that.
 
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Ryan McGuire wrote: . . . What would happen if one of a pair of siamese twins ran in a circle while the second one just rotated in-place?

You would end up with the fastest twin separation on record and neither would care who had aged more.
 
fred rosenberger
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Ryan McGuire wrote:As you walk, your abdomen experiences zero acceleration, for the sake of discussion. Your swinging hands, on the other hand, undergo acceleration alternating between forward and back (+x and -x). So yes... your hands are younger than the rest of your body.


I am by NO means an expert. I just read stuff, so I may be completely wrong here...but isn't the point of relativity that you can choose any point as your reference? So if I choose a point on my hand, then my body DOES accelerate both forward and back.

Where am I going wrong here?
 
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fred rosenberger wrote:

Ryan McGuire wrote:As you walk, your abdomen experiences zero acceleration, for the sake of discussion. Your swinging hands, on the other hand, undergo acceleration alternating between forward and back (+x and -x). So yes... your hands are younger than the rest of your body.


I am by NO means an expert. I just read stuff, so I may be completely wrong here...but isn't the point of relativity that you can choose any point as your reference? So if I choose a point on my hand, then my body DOES accelerate both forward and back.

Where am I going wrong here?



You can pick any point in a single "intertial" (non-accelerating) reference frame. In this case, your body is inertial and your hands are non-inertial. Let's say your hands describe a triangular wave pattern as they swing. You could look at this two ways: A) Each hand is in one non-inertial reference frame, or B) each hand changes from one inertial frame to another once when it is at the furthest forward position and again at the furthest back position. If they make more of a sine wave, they are constantly changing inertial frames. The math for the sine wave case is more difficult but it still works out.

The point is that by changing from one inertial reference frame to another, your hands change the "relativity of simultaneity" (which is fun to say) between your body's reference frame and your hand's current reference frame. And it is this change in simultaneity that causes the paradox.

(I think I can still explain the whole situation, including all the required math, from the ground (constant speed of light in all inertial reference frames) up. However, it would just be repeating a bunch of info that's available elsewhere, such as Wikipedia.)

What to google: twins paradox, minkowski diagram, relativity of simultaneity, Lorentz transformations
 
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Ryan McGuire wrote:[
What to google: twins paradox, minkowski diagram, relativity of simultaneity, Lorentz transformations


This is getting a lot of press now. I think we should call it "Ishi's Paradox" from now on.
 
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