Physicist Hatim Salih, a researcher at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, has developed the first practical model for creating a wormhole, a shortcut in space and time that connects two places regardless of the distance that separates them. To achieve this, a machine never built before will be necessary, which could be ready in a short time.
Since the concept of a wormhole was devised by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen In 1935, scientists have wondered how something so exotic and alien to the reality we know could be brought to life. Until now, various ways have been proposed to materialize it on a scale that allows, for example, spacecraft to be sent, but all require logistical and technological feats unattainable by humanity in hundreds or thousands of years.
However, Salih and his team have an ace up their sleeve: building a wormhole at the quantum level, where they are used atoms to cross this shortcut. Of course, it won’t be as simple as flipping a switch.
A key quantum phenomenon
To carry out this experiment, Salih plans to run the counterportation, a quantum phenomenon that he himself has researched and developed from scratch. in conversation with The Republic, the physicist says that it all started as a mental experiment 20 years ago. Since then, he has managed to prove the viability of it.
Specifically, counterportation occurs when the properties of a particle are transferred to another place without the need for a physical channel to transport this information.
In his most recent scientific article, published in the journal Quantum Science and Technology, Salih describes the “instructions” to carry out this process with a complete atom, so that it works as a true shortcut in the space-time traversed by matter.
“This local wormhole will have an entrance where the quantum object (the atom) disintegrates, and an exit where the object reappears,” he explains.
A machine ready “within 5 years”
To carry out the counterportation and make this scientific milestone a reality, it will be necessary a new kind of quantum computer which, according to Salih’s research, can be built “with current technology”.
“Fortunately, all the components already exist (…) it’s just a matter of putting the whole system together, which is not as easy as it sounds,” he says.
This system, unlike current quantum computers, should be made up of circuits that do not exchange particles.
Sahil’s team is coordinating with the main quantum physicists in the United Kingdom (Universities of Bristol, Oxford and York), to build the long-awaited machine. “I hope we see the counterportation done in the next five years“, tells us.
The author clarifies that this process takes place at a fraction of the speed of light, so it would not be useful if it is intended to take it to the scale of space travel in order to reach other planetary systems. Instead, it will allow us to understand the nature of space-time “or the possibility of a higher dimension“.
“Perhaps counterportation could lead to a deeper understanding of physics, which would make it possible to build wormholes for faster space travel,” he concludes.