Thursday , March 4 2021

Czech astrophysicists look for wormholes. They figured out how to recognize them

“The term wormhole refers to a hypothetical abbreviation between two places in curved space-time. It was first described by Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Nathan Rosen (1909-1995) in their scientific work. as early as 1935. Theoretically, a wormhole can not only be a shortcut that connects two distant places in a universe, but even a link between two different universes, “said astronomer Petr Horálek, who is in charge of report on the projects of the Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia in Opava.

Einstein’s general theory of relativity describes a wormhole as the interconnection of two curved space times, the connection of which is made up of exotic matter with the so-called negative energy density.

When astronomers first published the image of a black hole in the center of the galaxy M87 in April 2019, it was confirmed that supermassive black holes were present in the center of the galaxies and this was a big leap. in the investigation of other hitherto hypothetical cosmic objects. – including wormholes.

Recently, scientists have focused on describing what this wormhole would look like from the point of view of a distant observer, that is, when it is observed from Earth.

And after the launch of the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) project, according to Horálek, it really turns out that we could confirm or refute the existence of wormholes once and for all.

Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a project that has created a series of radio telescopes from various astronomical observatories located in all kinds of places on Earth. His first goal was to show the so-called event horizon of the black hole.

The team with Maciek Wielgus from Harvard University in the USA, Marek Abramowicz from the Institute of Physics at the University of Silesia, Jiří Horák from the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Frederic Vincent from ‘Paris Observatory set out to search for wormholes.

Connected space times forming a wormhole

Photo: M. Wielgus et al.

They focused on research into the so-called photon ring, an unstable circular area formed by light particles, that is, photons captured around extremely massive objects. The size and shape of the ring depends only on the properties of space-time around its central body.

Astrophysicists thus began to consider what the ring would look like if we had a hypothetical wormhole instead of the central body. In their study, they investigated what the EHT image would look like in the search for wormholes.

We were able to see two rings right away

“Our work also shows that under certain conditions, an Earth observer could see two photon rings,” Abramowicz added.

According to him, one on “his” side of the universe, around “his” end of the wormhole and the other on the opposite end. An important moment could then be if the photons on our “side” travel through the wormhole in the direction of its opposite end, but due to the fact that they do not have enough energy, they would “bounce” back. This would lose quite a bit of energy and could be clearly distinguished.

Right: The first shadow image of a black hole and a ring of shiny matter around it taken as part of the EHT project. Left: how can the shadow of the resulting wormhole along with the detected photon rings. Observing this would confirm the existence of wormholes.

Photo: Frederic Vincent a coll.

Also, due to the different size of the photon ring at the other end of the wormhole, its light trace would have a different shape. If we could observe these photons, according to the Opava Institute, we could not only confirm the existence of wormholes, but also learn interesting information about the universe at the other end of the wormhole.

This year, two more stations are expected to join the EHT instrument network: the NOEMA radio telescope network in France and the 12-meter ARO radio telescope at the Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona.

Individual observation posts of the EHT project and its use between 2009-2021.

Photo: M. Wielgus, D. Pesce and the EHT collaboration, Novinky

In the future, the location of the radio telescope in orbit around the Earth, or even on the surface of the Moon, is at stake.

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