A team of physicists from Sofia University in Bulgaria say that wormholes — which are hypothetical tunnels linking one part of the universe to another — could be hiding in plain sight, having been misidentified as black holes.
Black holes have long baffled scientists, gobbling up matter and never letting it escape. On the other hand, there has also been speculation with the hypothetical idea that they could lead to “white holes”, which do the opposite, expel matter and energy.
These two ends together could form a wormhole, or an Einstein-Rosen bridge to be specific, that some physicists believe could stretch any amount of time and space together, a tantalizing theory with the potential to rewrite the laws of space. -time as we understand it today.
Now, researchers suggest that a wormhole\’s “throat” could look a lot like black holes discovered so far—like the monster Sagittarius A*, thought to lurk in the center of our galaxy.
“Ten years ago, wormholes were entirely in the area of science fiction,” said team leader Petya Nedkova of Sofia University. “Today, they are approaching the frontiers of science and researchers are actively searching.”
The team\’s newly developed computer model—as detailed in a new paper published in the journal Physical Review D—suggests that radiation emanating from disks of matter swirling around the edges of wormholes can be almost indistinguishable from those surrounding a black hole. In fact, the difference in the amount of polarization of light emitted by a black hole and a wormhole, at least according to their model, would be less than four percent.
“With current observations, you can\’t distinguish a black hole or a wormhole; there may be a wormhole there, but we can\’t tell the difference,” Nedkova admitted. “So we were looking for something else in the sky that might be a way to distinguish black holes from wormholes.”
Physicists suggest there may be ways to tell them apart with observations in the future. For example, we could look for light that may be filtering in from the other end of the wormhole and emanating from the black hole in the form of little rings of light. But for now, we just don\’t have the technology to make those kinds of direct observations of black holes.
The only way to know for sure would be to scan these celestial oddities with an even higher resolution telescope. The other option, of course, would be to risk everything by throwing yourself into a black hole.
If you were around, you would find out too late. You would know the difference when you die or pass through it,” Nedkova concluded.