Wormholes Explained – Breaking Spacetime


If you saw a wormhole in reality, it would appear round, spherical, a bit like a black hole. Light from the other side passes through and gives you a window to a faraway place. Once crossed, the other side comes fully into view with your old home now receding into that shimmering spherical window. But are wormholes real, or are they just magic disguised as physics and maths? If they are real, how do they work and where can we find them? [Kurzgesagt Intro] For most of human history, we thought space was pretty simple; a big flat stage where the events of the universe unfold. Even if you take down the set of planets and stars, there’s still something left. That empty stage is space and it exists, unchanging and eternal. Einstein’s theory of relativity changed that. It says that space and time make up that stage together, and they aren’t the same everywhere. The things on the stage can affect the stage itself, stretching and warping it. If the old stage was like unmoving hardwood, Einstein’s stage is more like a waterbed. This kind of elastic space can be bent and maybe even torn and patched together, which could make wormholes possible. Let’s see what that would look like in 2D. Our universe is like a big flat sheet, bent in just the right way, wormholes could connect two very, very distant spots with a short bridge that you could cross almost instantaneously. Enabling you to travel the universe even faster than the speed of light. So, where can we find a wormhole? Presently, only on paper. General relativity says they might be possible, but that doesn’t mean they have to exist. General relativity is a mathematical theory. It’s a set of equations that have many possible answers, but not all maths describes reality. But they are theoretically possible and there are different kinds. EINSTEIN ROSEN BRIDGES The first kind of wormholes to be theorized were Einstein Rosen Bridges. They describe every black hole as a sort of portal to an infinite parallel universe. Let’s try to picture them in 2D again. Empty space time is flat, but curved by objects on it. If we compress that object, space-time gets more curved around it. Eventually, space-time becomes so warped that it has no choice but to collapse into a black hole. A one-way barrier forms: the event horizon, which anything can enter but nothing can escape; trapped forever at the singularity at its core. But maybe there is no singularity here. One possibility is that the other side of the event horizon looks a bit like our universe again but mirrored upside down, where time runs backwards. In our universe things fall into the black hole. In the parallel universe, with backwards time, the mirror black hole is spewing things out a bit like a big bang. This is called a white hole. Unfortunately, Einstein-rosen bridges can’t actually be crossed. It takes an infinite amount of time to cross over to the opposite universe and they crimp shut in the middle. If you go into a black hole, you won’t become the stuff coming out of the white hole. You’ll only become dead. So, to travel the cosmos in the blink of an eye, humans need a different kind of wormhole; a Traversable Wormhole. VERY OLD STRING THEORY WORMHOLES If string theory or one of its variations is the correct description of our universe, then we could be lucky and our universe might even have a tangled web of countless wormholes already. Shortly after the Big Bang, Quantum fluctuations in the universe at the smallest scales far far smaller than an atom may have created many, many traversable wormholes. Threaded through them are strings, called cosmic strings. In the first billionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, the ends of these tiny, tiny wormholes were pulled light-years apart; scattering them through the universe. If wormholes were made in the early universe, whether with cosmic strings or some other way, they could be all over; just waiting to be discovered. One might even be closer than we realize. From the outside, black holes and wormholes can look very similar; leading some physicists to suggest the supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies are actually wormholes. It will be very hard to go all the way to the center of the Milky Way to find out though, but that’s okay. There might be an equally extremely hard way to get our hands on a wormhole, we could try to make one. MANMADE WORMHOLES To be traversable and useful, there are a few properties we want a wormhole to have. First, it must obviously connect to distant parts of space-time. Like your bedroom and the bathroom, or Earth and Jupiter. Second, it should not contain any event horizons, which would block two-way travel. Third, it should be sufficiently sized so that the gravitational forces don’t kill human travelers. The biggest problem we have to solve, is keeping our wormholes open. No matter how we make wormholes, gravity tries to close them. Gravity wants to pinch it closed and cut the bridge; leaving only black holes at the ends. Whether it’s a traversable wormhole with both ends in ours, or a wormhole to another universe, it will try to close unless we have something propping it open. For very old string theory wormholes, that’s the cosmic strings job. For man-made wormholes, We need a new ingredient. Exotic matter. This isn’t anything like we find on earth, or even antimatter. It’s something totally new and different and exciting, with crazy properties like nothing that’s ever been seen before. Exotic matter is stuff that has a negative mass. Positive mass like people and planets and everything else in the universe, is attractive because of gravity. But negative mass would be repulsive; it would push you away. This makes a kind of anti-gravity the props open our wormholes. And exotic matter must exert enormous pressure to push space-time open, greater even than the pressure of the centers of neutron stars. With exotic matter, we could weave space-time however we see fit. We may even have a candidate for this exotic matter, the vacuum of space itself. Quantum fluctuations in empty space are constantly creating pairs of particles and antiparticles, only for them to be annihilated an instant later. The vacuum of space is boiling with them, and we can already manipulate them to produce an effect similar to the negative mass we’re looking for. We could use this to stabilize our wormholes. Once we’re keeping it open, the ends would start together. So, we’d have to move them around to interesting places. We could start by wiring the solar system; leaving one end of each wormhole in orbit around the earth. We could flick others into deep space. The earth could be a wormhole hub for a vast interstellar human civilization spread over light-years, but only a wormhole away. However, wormholes have a dark side. Even opening a single wormhole, kind-of breaks the universe in fundamental ways, potentially creating time travel paradoxes, and violating the causal structure of the universe. Many scientists think that this not only means they should be impossible to make, but that it’s impossible for them to exist at all. So, for now, we only know that wormholes exist in our hearts, and on paper in the form of equations. We know you want to know more about universe stuff, so, we’re trying something new. Kurzgesagt and Brilliant are collaborating on a six-part video series about our favorite science and space things. Thanks to their help, there will be more videos on this channel in the next six months. Kurzgesagt has worked with Brilliant for a while now, and we love what they’re doing. In a nutshell, Brilliant helps you to get ahead by mastering maths and science skills through actively solving challenging and fascinating problems. To support our collaboration with them, visit brilliant.org/nutshell and sign up for free today. The first 688 people that use the link will get 20% off their annual premium subscription. –FINAL SUBTITLE EDIT/READ BY: WinterPyro

100 thoughts on “Wormholes Explained – Breaking Spacetime

  1. There's brand new stuff in the Kurzgesagt Merch Shop. Check it out here: shop.kurzgesagt.org

  2. Kurzgesagt: 7:44
    Dr. Hulk and Ironman: ThATS nOT hOW TIMe TraVel WoRkS!!

  3. Soo people are trying to make teleportation :/ well this is it but it’s not possible… 🙁

  4. what if wormholes make a paradox where a different you ends up on the other side. so it would look like you walked through a door but in reality you’ve stumbled into a different universe running parallel to ours and if you looked back through it you would see yourself but that person wasn’t you.

  5. such a e s t h e t i c s <3
    string theory : no – the Higgs field kind of buried that, making it a bit more simplified, but there's still a few strings remaining I agree. Dark matter, new bosons, quantum fluctuations…
    time paradox are not a thing, if you take the car and get on the road running at 90s on a long road while me, a pedestrian find a shorter way and arrive first, this is not a time paradox, speed of light remains the same, we take different path to join a point A to a point B. This is also demonstrable, c remains the limit and you can not travel back in time.

  6. That car crashing with each other makes no sense.
    When it will pass through then it would enter another place rather than colliding with each other.
    I think this is wrong what you're saying. They could exist

  7. I don't understand why people dislike some videos. Like this is amazing, how could you dislike this?

  8. It must be nice to be a physicist or astrophysicist. Theycan mathematically prove amy cockamami theory on anything and make people believe this because there is no way to physically prove any of their b.s.

  9. (7:28) "If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe."

  10. What's with the eighties theme? It's awesome though. Distracted me completely. Lol

  11. Tesseract:keeps wormholes open
    Exotic particles:i'm about to destroy this thing's whole carrer

  12. yo wtf? Just get an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device- Problem solved!

  13. I love how they simply complex things so dumb people like me can understand.

  14. I see it like : wormhole sends you somewhere inside our dimension. Blackhole sends you to another universe(dimension). I have an whole theorie for it. If this comment gets 1k likes i will make a video about it.

  15. Man made wormhole already exists, we bring demons through black magic from another dimension

  16. If nothing moves faster than the speed of light how can the particles be moved light years in a trillionth of a second. Doesn’t make sense

  17. Fully parallel universes dont exist FOR our universe:
    Explonation:
    Paralel universe for us technicly exist but if in it is opposite we dont exist, the same is if parealel universes technicly dont exist…

    They dont

  18. 7:39 we got citadel of ricks …but where the design comes from tho ? is it something iconic that has nothing to do with rick and morty ? oh yeah . sorry , just discovered . it's mass effect!

  19. So you're telling me there is a pretty big possibility they aren't even real/possible, what.

  20. i have a doubt. as you said that when an object is compressed more and more the space below deepens and then collapses into a black hole. well then what happens to the object that led to the formation of a black hole. did it also collapse in the black hole or it stayed there, but that way there should some object floating right on the black hole. please tell

  21. could we control worm hole?
    could we use them to travel through to another galaxy or universe?

  22. How to make a Wormhole hub
    Minecraft Veterans: Ah, yes I know how to make a nether hub.

  23. But wouldn't we like be squished to death if we entered a wormhole?
    I mean isn't the gravitational pull of a black/wormhole extremely strong so we would end up like a long human spaghetti

  24. 7:26 don’t think you can get away with a Doctor Who reference (I see that TARDIS) 😄

  25. I don't think the wormholes that pops at quantum scale stays will lead us to anywhere in over space-time, but rather it might be opening in a parallel universe 🤔

  26. Hey I've seen this one before its a classic….. Humanity opens a portal to hell

  27. Is no one going to talk about the kid who just floated off and probably died in space at the start of the video?

  28. black hole: hi i am the most powerful space time breaking force

    worm hole: hold my exotic matter

    white hole: im too break

  29. matter
    antimatter
    dark energy
    dark matter
    exotic matter
    StRange MaTtEr
    push
    pull
    wait.. am i missing something
    teleport, i feel like im missing something
    speed, ahhh its worm hole

  30. If a wormhole appeared in your room it'd almost definitely lead to the vacuum of space and kill you instantly, then destroy the rest of the world by sucking out the atmosphere.

    OH also I love the synthwave vibes of this video lmao, great work. Every video of yours is great of course, but this one has it's own charm.

  31. Wormholes: Humanity's biggest case of blue balls.

    We were so close to discovering teleportation and easy space travel…

  32. I have absolutely no idea what I just watched. This entire thing was Greek to me.

  33. If you dont UNDERSTAND
    Pretend that the galaxy has a giant hill and you need to fly the rocket for 10000 miles just to get to the top and to the bottom..BUT wormhole is like a pathway like a hole in the right side of the hill and left side of the hill so your just gonna fly through the wormhole the width of the hill is 500 miles..So if you fly through the wormhole it will take 500 miles expect flying up through the hill for 10000 miles….SORRY IF ITS LONG!*

  34. Sometimes you have to wonder if these scientists are trolling us with crazy theories.

  35. Wouldn't exotic matter prevent us from entering a wormhole since there are negative and we are positive?

  36. “ Are wormholes real or are they just magic disguised as physics and mass?” I was lost immediately…

  37. The 80's and black holes. Both are points in space and time with infinite density.

  38. Wormholes could potentially be our new way of instant transportation at last.

  39. Ohhh that’s why girls always call me Exotic Mass. Because I’m repulsive, I thought they were referencing my penis!

  40. How would we use exotic matter, If we cant touch it, with anything? Same with using the vacuum of space, last time i checked nothingness isnt tangible.

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