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Wormhole Gate


DestinyPlayer
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Let's say that people have discovered a way to, basically, create a Stargate by managing to create a wormhole, no matter the way. What things would they need to consider?

I know that they'd have to, preferrably, match the air pressure in both gate locations so that it doesn't blow anything apart by moving too quickly.

Would there be any problems with gravity? For example, a gate right on the ground, and a gate in geosynch orbit right over the top of it, would there be any weirdness with gravity in any of these places?

How to communicate between them? A micro-wormhole, constantly open, allowing you to send any info you need by any means. Would that work?

And overall, are there any moments with such a thing that would complicate things?

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How to communicate between them? A micro-wormhole, constantly open, allowing you to send any info you need by any means.

I don't think you would even need the wormhole for communication. We'll probably figure out a way to communicate instantly (subspace) via quantum entanglement long before we figure out (if it's even possible) how to build a stable wormhole that we can use like a doorway.

Good thought on the air-tight portal chambers, that was something I always felt would be mandatory, otherwise opening a wormhole would be like cracking a window in a pressurized cabin. Gravity? I don't see why that would create any issues. Unless you're thinking like the "black hole" episode of SG-1 where everything started to get sucked through the gate. A planet with enough gravity to cause that kind of a problem though would NOT be a planet you would want to walk around on anyway.

Edited by vger
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Kinda like asking whether a unicorn eats grass or hay... k_smiley.gif No way to know any of these, unless you provide all of the details.

However, there is this: https://what-if.xkcd.com/53/

Well, that's why it's Sci-fi theory. We try to theorize whether unicorns eat grass, hay or magic beans, and why do they do such a thing to these poor beans, while trying to remain within a walking distance from reality.

That page is interesting to read, but that's one thing I've already accounted for.

"Rule number 1 of Wormhole Technology: Don't be a dummy and match the pressures!"

I don't think you would even need the wormhole for communication. We'll probably figure out a way to communicate instantly (subspace) via quantum entanglement long before we figure out (if it's even possible) how to build a stable wormhole that we can use like a doorway.

Good thought on the air-tight portal chambers, that was something I always felt would be mandatory, otherwise opening a wormhole would be like cracking a window in a pressurized cabin. Gravity? I don't see why that would create any issues. Unless you're thinking like the "black hole" episode of SG-1 where everything started to get sucked through the gate. A planet with enough gravity to cause that kind of a problem though would NOT be a planet you would want to walk around on anyway.

I'm thinking in terms of "What if tomorrow some random guy suddenly figured out how to make a stable wormhole that we can use like a doorway, and how would technology go from that?".

I was thinking about gravity because... Well, how would a spaceship that is floating near a gate that's on an orbit and is connected to a gate on the ground behave? Would the gravity that's coming from the gate affect it in any noticeable way? Or would it be like adding a single thread of straw into a hay pile?

Why would you do such a thing? To get rid of boosters by launching spaceships right through a gate into space.

Edited by DestinyPlayer
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I don't think you would even need the wormhole for communication. We'll probably figure out a way to communicate instantly (subspace) via quantum entanglement long before we figure out (if it's even possible) how to build a stable wormhole that we can use like a doorway.

Good thought on the air-tight portal chambers, that was something I always felt would be mandatory, otherwise opening a wormhole would be like cracking a window in a pressurized cabin. Gravity? I don't see why that would create any issues. Unless you're thinking like the "black hole" episode of SG-1 where everything started to get sucked through the gate. A planet with enough gravity to cause that kind of a problem though would NOT be a planet you would want to walk around on anyway.

Quantum entanglement is considered by some to be a quantum wormhole. This may be the only form which exists for the briefest of moments and essentially occupies no space.

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Actually, you raise a somewhat amusing point. In a book I read a while back, humans have wormholes (they aren't trivial, but they can be used) and we make an STL probe to somewhere get up to speed by letting go over it while it is over an "entrance" portal in a vacuum chamber. At the top of the chamber is the "exit" portal. So much like in the game Portal, the object just keeps picking up speed. Once it got to a reasonable fraction of C, they closed the two they were using, letting the probe fall through the next entrance portal, the exit of which was pointed in the direction of the star they wanted the probe to get to.

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If we do create a wormhole, I foresee it being a lot less like Stargate and more like the one in Interstellar or Portal, i.e. you'd be able to see through it.

In order to move the door on the other side from one place to another, you'd have to, well, pick it up and move it.

It wouldn't be hard to just run a cable through the wormhole in order to keep communications open as needed.

Regarding equalizing the pressure, in this case it would be advisable, but I have a hunch that production versions of this thing are going to be primarily used in space, where there's no significant pressure to bother equalizing. Same deal with gravitational fields.

However, gravitational fields do present an interesting puzzle, that being how, if at all, gravity propagates through wormholes.

Say you're playing Portal and you put a portal on the floor and on the wall. On one side, gravity is going sideways compared to the other. If gravity can in fact reach through the portal, then it stands to reason that if you stand near either end, you'll feel gravity from the Earth reaching through from the other end, possibly sucking you towards the portal or dragging you sideways.

It is my hypothesis, actually, that if you place a portal on the ceiling, gravity coming out of it will pull you up towards the ceiling, preventing the old "escape velocity" trick.

Of course this all hardly matters if you just stick the wormhole in space as mentioned above xP

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If we do create a wormhole, I foresee it being a lot less like Stargate and more like the one in Interstellar or Portal, i.e. you'd be able to see through it.

Nah. Tidal forces would make it unusable.

The only reason Stargate's portals are somewhat feasible is because they explicitly state that the wormhole is used to transfer disassembled matter and information needed to reassemble it. The gates themselves are universal constructors with a buffer. You step through, get disassembled on atomic level at the interface, while a virtual simulation is maintained in the buffer, providing continuity (and ability to still have blood circulating while you're just half-way through). Once you're fully in the buffer, simulation gets suspended, and the buffer contents, matter and data, are sent over to the other gate where the process is reversed.

If you want a wormhole that you're just going to fly through, it's going to have to be huge. We are talking about having hard time finding a good place to park it in the Solar system.

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Actually, you raise a somewhat amusing point. In a book I read a while back, humans have wormholes (they aren't trivial, but they can be used) and we make an STL probe to somewhere get up to speed by letting go over it while it is over an "entrance" portal in a vacuum chamber. At the top of the chamber is the "exit" portal. So much like in the game Portal, the object just keeps picking up speed. Once it got to a reasonable fraction of C, they closed the two they were using, letting the probe fall through the next entrance portal, the exit of which was pointed in the direction of the star they wanted the probe to get to.

Huh, yeah, I guess this all depends on whether or not inertia is preserved in a wormhole. The Portal game is probably right when GlaDOS said, "Speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out." Otherwise it probably shatters conventional physics. This would also make it impossible to use as a "space elevator." A ship in orbit passing through a wormhole to Earth's surface would be doing something like 18k mph. So the ship either needs to be able to deal with the friction of being at near surface level at that speed, or it's going to get ripped apart. The current world record for airspeed is about 5k mph. So the airstrip at the exit point needs to be contained in a near-vacuum, AND be long enough to give the ship enough room to decelerate. Same holds true for the opposite. The ship would need to reach a proper orbital velocity BEFORE entering the wormhole, otherwise it will just start falling back to Earth the moment it comes out the other end. As Teal'c once said, "Threading the needle."

This also makes me think of another problem that may or may not be an issue, which is time dilation. I'd worry more for that than gravity. Time moves at a different speed on the surface than in orbit. So when half of you has already passed through the orbital wormhole and half of you is out the other side, the two halves of you are now traveling in time at different speeds. What the heck would happen there? Would that tear an object apart ala spaghettification?

The gates themselves are universal constructors with a buffer. You step through, get disassembled on atomic level at the interface, while a virtual simulation is maintained in the buffer, providing continuity (and ability to still have blood circulating while you're just half-way through). Once you're fully in the buffer, simulation gets suspended, and the buffer contents, matter and data, are sent over to the other gate where the process is reversed.

Yeck, so it's a transporter, with a ridiculously better range. Well, dang. There goes one of my fantasies. I'm not stepping in one then. I'm in the camp of, "If you get teleported, your consciousness dies and a clone comes out the other end."

Edited by vger
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If it turns out that inertia is preserved in a wormhole then it seems like there's probably a few games you could play (like the one I had mentioned) to make up for it. Though an interesting question is, does the inertia of the wormhole ends themselves affect you as you travel through it? My feeling on the time issue (which is probably valid for the others as well?( is that the time difference along the wormhole is a gradient. Probably more extreme than if you were to spin your arm like pitching a baseball, but the same principle applies. Your fist, moving faster than the rest of you, IS experiencing a different rate of time due to its speed, but so far this has not been proven to be problematic.

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So even the most magical sci fi universe, the wormhole has to be up in orbit at the least, right, so the black hole that is a critical part of it doesn't fall through the floor to the core of the planet. Even if you could somehow "stabilize" those tidal forces with magical technology, you'd want it to be in space in microgravity, and even if humans could traverse it, you'd need a pressure suit possibly.

- - - Updated - - -

If it turns out that inertia is preserved in a wormhole then it seems like there's probably a few games you could play (like the one I had mentioned) to make up for it.

One reasonable theory is that for anything exiting a wormhole, the mass-energy of the object exiting comes from the mass of the black hole on that side of the wormhole link. This means there's no free lunch - you could build an infinite energy generator by setting up 2 wormholes a certain way, but the energy you're gaining is getting subtracted from the mass of the wormhole itself, so eventually you'll run out of mass unless you constantly feed more into it.

If wormholes were ever a real thing, of course, they'd be microscopic. You don't need the ability to send anything through - at that level of technology, you'd be able to convert human beings into digital files and send them through in a few seconds via data link. To avoid philsophical issues you could send just a copy of yourself through the wormhole, have it go explore at the other end, then beam back what it learned as a difference file between the copy's memories when it started the journey and the end.

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If we created a wormhole without ever realizing that the other side of the universe is the anti-verse of our half, the wormholes join at the center of inflation and the matter from both wormholes is annihilated. See the OP doesn't set any constraints and so here is what might happen.

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Don't make a causality-breaking time machine out of the wormholes. Depending on the size, it can explode with enough force to vaporize a STAR.

If the wormhole ends must be created close to each other, at least one end of the wormhole is going to have to be moved to its destination. Doing this fast is a good idea, but don't ever move wormhole ends CLOSER to each other, especially not at relativistic speeds.

Relativistic time dilation on a wormhole means that anything going thru that wormhole will pick up that same time differential, even if the wormhole ends are now stationary relative to each other.

According to theories I've seen, if you can use a wormhole to end up back at your starting point BEFORE you left, the wormhole will destabilize into a pair of black holes.

According to those same theories, this destabilization is EXTREMELY violent, because it converts a significant portion of the mass of the wormhole itself into pure energy.

In other words, wormholes can be made into bombs with much more power than any supernova. There is direct conversion of matter to energy just like an antimatter bomb, but the total mass that's converted to energy is in the range of anything from small moons to large stars. Incomprehensibly large KABOOM.

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^ I've always been highly skeptical of that.

I think a lot of these paradoxes come from forgetting that space exists INSIDE the wormhole as well as outside it. In fact the wormhole itself is made of space. It could be made very short on the inside so as to appear flat like the ones in Portal, but it'd be much more practical to just leave some length built into it.

In such a configuration, there'd be fairly normal 3D space within the wormhole, like a hallway that's ten feet long but has doors a mile apart as measured from outside. I'd advise against touching the door frames (see above post about tidal forces), but the rest would behave like normal space.

So if you grab one door and fling it all over the universe to dilate its time, sure, objects standing near the door frame on that end will pick up a huge time differential. But we have no evidence that space itself possesses the trait of age and can pick up such a differential. So your twin standing on the other end of the hallway could be induced to age very fast, but both you and he can walk up and down the hallway all day afterward with no effects on either of your ages. And someone who walks through from the twin's side to yours would end up on your side at exactly the same time and age (plus a few seconds spent walking).

All this is just my hypothesis, of course, but its stability and elegance give me a good feeling about it.

Edited by parameciumkid
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One thing I have always wondered about the gates in Stargate is: What would happen if you had two stargates, and had one dial the other. Then you stick the receiving gate through the sending gate (assuming you can fit it). What would happen? For that matter, what if you did the same thing with other types of theoretical wormholes?

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I think a lot of these paradoxes come from forgetting that space exists INSIDE the wormhole as well as outside it. In fact the wormhole itself is made of space. It could be made very short on the inside so as to appear flat like the ones in Portal, but it'd be much more practical to just leave some length built into it.

Is that even theoretically an option? Or do you just mean for the sake of storytelling? It seems to me we wouldn't have control over the internal structure of a wormhole (do we want it to be a 100km tunnel or a 1mm "looking glass?"). Not without manipulating it at an even higher dimension anyhow, and that's only if string theory is correct. We have enough trouble working with curved space as it is.

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@vger: "Classic" wormholes, i.e. Einstein-Rosen bridges, are theoretical constructs made of space. A wormhole made of something else is most likely not actually a wormhole (e.g. an actual Stargate or a beaming pad).

Indeed, I don't currently know a way to modulate the interior length of the wormhole, but if we develop some technology to build one, with any luck we'll be able to build it to our specifications. Perhaps an Alcubierre-Drive-like space warping mechanism could be employed to expand or contract the space within the wormhole, thereby adjusting the size.

@Dres: I've mused on this myself. I can't say for stargates, but for wormholes this doesn't cause any trouble whatsoever. You would have difficulty shoving one stargate through another of the same size (doesn't fit), and if it were smaller, you could get it into the wormhole but would be unable to push it through to make it come out the other side - it'd hit a wall, effectively.

Now if you had two pairs of stargates, you could easily carry one end of one of them through the other. Since a wormhole is a four-dimensional object, it doesn't really "tangle" when moved around in three dimensions.

If you visualize the situation as the good old rubber sheet, a wormhole is simply a tube-shaped region where you can roll down the sheet in one spot, through the tube, and back up onto the flat part in another place. Moving a wormhole through a wormhole means you go from having two discrete tubes, to having one where along the length of the tube is an "opening" branching off in a Y shape, to having two discrete tube again, but with the end of the second one moved to be near the second end of the first one.

It'd be easier if I drew it, I suppose.

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I was thinking about gravity because... Well, how would a spaceship that is floating near a gate that's on an orbit and is connected to a gate on the ground behave? Would the gravity that's coming from the gate affect it in any noticeable way? Or would it be like adding a single thread of straw into a hay pile?

Probably that would depend on the orientation of the gate. If it was oriented Stargate SG-1 style (i.e. standing on edge) a ship on the other side probably wouldn't feel any gravity from Earth (because "down" is not "through the gate"). Drop the gate horizontally and gravity would probably exert force through the wormhole normally. After all, if matter can transit, so can energy.

A rather nastier problem would be encountered when the ship actually started to transit through a standing-on-edge gate. If the "space" side of the gate is zero gravity and the destination side of the gate is, say, a hangar on Earth, when the ship was halfway through the gate the nose of the ship would be in Earth-normal gravity and the tail end would not. Most spacecraft we humans build today can't handle significant shear stress, and one G of gravity would be enough to rip most feasible ships in two. So the only way a gate would be safe for transiting spacecraft is if the region of space inside the wormhole was longer than one ship length.

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Probably that would depend on the orientation of the gate. If it was oriented Stargate SG-1 style (i.e. standing on edge) a ship on the other side probably wouldn't feel any gravity from Earth (because "down" is not "through the gate"). Drop the gate horizontally and gravity would probably exert force through the wormhole normally. After all, if matter can transit, so can energy.

A rather nastier problem would be encountered when the ship actually started to transit through a standing-on-edge gate. If the "space" side of the gate is zero gravity and the destination side of the gate is, say, a hangar on Earth, when the ship was halfway through the gate the nose of the ship would be in Earth-normal gravity and the tail end would not. Most spacecraft we humans build today can't handle significant shear stress, and one G of gravity would be enough to rip most feasible ships in two. So the only way a gate would be safe for transiting spacecraft is if the region of space inside the wormhole was longer than one ship length.

But wouldn't gravity also go through a wormhole, just like photons or any other force-carrier? Different forces of gravity might still cause problems (what happens if you put the exits on the surfaces of planets with very different gravities?) but it wouldn't be quite as severe as destroying everything inside.

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I would say yes. Gravity would transit through the wormhole and act on things at the other end--if it had a "line of sight" so to speak.

Hence my conjecture that gravity would only act through the wormhole if it was lying face down instead of standing on edge.

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I'd say yes too. If a wormhole is simply a tunnel you've built out of spacetime, gravity should propagate through it like everything else.

Thus, if you have a big gate on the ground and the other end in space, if a ship approached while in space, it would actually start to feel gravity from the other end of the wormhole as it approached, increasing gradually until when it reached the other end it was in a 1 G gravitational field.

The real question is this: which way would the propagated gravity "point"?

- Would it drag the ship "sideways" relative to the gate, so that it would have to thrust in the opposite direction in order to not miss the opening?

- Would it simply spread out omnidirectionally with no polarity, creating a depression in spacetime just like a normal gravitational field and thus cause the ship to be "sucked in" by gravity coming through from the other side?

I'm inclined to go with the second one based on my understanding of physics, but it's a topic for discussion nonetheless.

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I'd say, if you could draw a line of sight from yourself, through the gate, to a gravity source such as a planet, then its gravity would act on you.

Pretty much any solution poses difficulties, however. Normally space is either flat or smoothly curved around gravity sources, and a stargate is a discontinuous, non-smooth "pinch". Exampled by simply walking around to the back side of the gate and standing behind it (something that Stargate SG-1 and its spinoff shows completely sidestepped!). If walking in the front of the gate leads to, say, that rather infamous black hole, what if you stood near the back side of the gate?? I'm pretty sure things would not.....suck.....for you.....

:D

Edit: stop the press. Problem. BIG problem.

Suppose there's a stargate lying on the ground in front of you; the destination gate is positioned a kilometer above you (say, at the top of a tower or something) and is facing the gate on the ground. You jump into the gate on the ground, fall through it, and it transports you to the other gate a kilometer up--whereupon you fall down to the first gate, fall through it again, and end up doing a now-you're-thinking-with-portals kind of loopy thing.

The problem is, each time the gate sends you back up to the top of the loop, you're gaining potential energy. Without expending any energy to get there. We seem to have a free-energy kind of thing going here, and right now the Laws of Thermodynamics are staring angrily at me and demanding to know just what the bloody hell I think I'm doing.

Edited by WedgeAntilles
Just thought of something that's making my brain hurt
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  • 2 weeks later...
Edit: stop the press. Problem. BIG problem.

Suppose there's a stargate lying on the ground in front of you; the destination gate is positioned a kilometer above you (say, at the top of a tower or something) and is facing the gate on the ground. You jump into the gate on the ground, fall through it, and it transports you to the other gate a kilometer up--whereupon you fall down to the first gate, fall through it again, and end up doing a now-you're-thinking-with-portals kind of loopy thing.

The problem is, each time the gate sends you back up to the top of the loop, you're gaining potential energy. Without expending any energy to get there. We seem to have a free-energy kind of thing going here, and right now the Laws of Thermodynamics are staring angrily at me and demanding to know just what the bloody hell I think I'm doing.

Wouldn't the energy required to keep the gates open be enough? Maybe you can't just create them and keep them that way, maybe you have to constantly keep them from closing or something.

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Suppose there's a stargate lying on the ground in front of you; the destination gate is positioned a kilometer above you (say, at the top of a tower or something) and is facing the gate on the ground. You jump into the gate on the ground, fall through it, and it transports you to the other gate a kilometer up--whereupon you fall down to the first gate, fall through it again, and end up doing a now-you're-thinking-with-portals kind of loopy thing.

The problem is, each time the gate sends you back up to the top of the loop, you're gaining potential energy. Without expending any energy to get there. We seem to have a free-energy kind of thing going here, and right now the Laws of Thermodynamics are staring angrily at me and demanding to know just what the bloody hell I think I'm doing.

Every time you enter a gate, it gains the mass-energy of you. Every time you leave, the leaving gate loses that mass-energy. So in the example you give, the gate you keep entering is growing and the gate you keep leaving is shrinking.

The books balance.

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Every time you enter a gate, it gains the mass-energy of you. Every time you leave, the leaving gate loses that mass-energy. So in the example you give, the gate you keep entering is growing and the gate you keep leaving is shrinking.

The books balance.

This doesn't seem right. The gate isn't a teleporter; it simply creates a deformation in spacetime, which would require a fixed amount of energy to create and maintain. Such a gate shouldn't be aware of any matter passing across that deformation.

I'm a smart person (and also modest!), but this is actually making my brain hurt. The interaction between such a gate and gravity seems to introduce so many paradoxes that I'm starting to think wormhole gates are impossible.

(Now that you've got me thinking about it, though, a teleporter wouldn't cause this seeming paradox--because a teleporter would teleport kinetic and potential energy as well as mass. If you teleport an object that has more energy, the teleportation itself requires more energy)

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What llanthas said. I was actually wondering if someone would bring this up.

Long story short, the whole "Portal perpetual motion machine" idea doesn't work if gravity can go through portals (or wormholes, etc.) as it in all likelihood should. Gravity from the ceiling portal should pull you back up so that you decelerate while near the ceiling. You'd still fall for a little while, but you'd be bound to lose energy due to air resistance and end up suspended between the two portals.

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