Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity profoundly changed our thinking about fundamental concepts in physics, such as space and time. But it also left us with some deep mysteries. One was black holes, which were only unequivocally detected over the past few years. Another was “wormholes” – bridges connecting different points in spacetime, in theory providing shortcuts for space travellers.
Wormholes are still in the realm of the imagination. But some scientists think we will soon be able to find them, too. Over the past few months, several new studies have suggested intriguing ways forward.
Black holes and wormholes are special types of solutions to Einstein’s equations, arising when the structure of spacetime is strongly bent by gravity. For example, when matter is extremely dense, the fabric of spacetime can become so curved that not even light can escape. This is a black hole.