Researchers suggest that wormholes may look very similar to black holes

Physical Review D (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.106.104024″ width=”800″ height=”530″/>

Polarization in a vertical magnetic field for wormholes with different redshift parameter α. Each color represents the observable polarization of the orbits at r=6M (outer ring) and r=4.5M (inner ring) for a given wormhole solution with α∈[0,3]. The polarization for the Schwarzschild black hole is given by a dotted black line as a reference. The angle of inclination is θ=20°. Credit: Physical assessment D (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.106.104024

A group of researchers from Sofia University has found evidence suggesting that the reason no wormholes have ever been observed is that they appear almost identical to black holes.

In their paper published in the journal Physical assessment D, Petya Nedkova, Galin Gyulchev, Stoytcho Yazadjiev and Valentin Delijski describe studying theoretical linear polarization of an accretion disk that would be located around a class of statically traversable wormholes and compared the findings with images of black holes.

For years, scientists and science fiction writers have considered the theoretical possibility of a wormhole. Such an object, the theory suggests, would take the form of a kind of tunnel connecting two different parts of the universe. Traveling through the tunnel allows you to travel to distant destinations in ways unavailable to starships that cannot move faster than the speed of light – by taking a shortcut.

Sadly, no one has ever observed a wormhole or even any physical evidence that they actually exist. Still, because the theory for their existence is so strong, astrophysicists assume they do exist. The problem is that we either lack the technology to see them, or we haven’t looked for them properly.

In this new effort, the researchers in Bulgaria suggest that the latter is the problem. They’ve found evidence through theory that suggests they could be out there in plain sight in the night sky, and that the reason we don’t see them is because we mistake them for black holes.

The work involved studying wormhole theories and then applying findings to create simulations, focusing on the polarity of light that would be emitted by such an object – and also taking into account the characteristics of a hypothesized disk around his mouth. They then created both direct and indirect images to represent what a wormhole would look like and compared them to black holes; they thought they were remarkably similar.

The researchers noted that it should be possible to tell wormholes and black holes apart by noticing subtle differences between them, such as polarization patterns and intensities as well as their radii.

More information:
Valentin Deliyski et al, Polarized image of equatorial emission in horizonless spacetime: traversable wormholes, Physical assessment D (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.106.104024

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