Wormhole Travel is a topic in science and science fiction that has always fascinated me. The problem with writing a science fiction story that involves space exploration is the sheer distance that one would have to travel conventionally in order to reach a habitable planet. We’re not just talking years of conventional travel. We’re talking hundreds of lifetimes to reach even the nearest star; let alone a habitable one.
To go around this problem, writers like myself use wormholes for two primary reasons. First, wormholes are scientifically plausible according to Einstein and Rosen. Second, wormholes solve the time conundrum that we have while traveling long distances in space.
The way wormholes work is that there are proposed bridges through a folded piece of space, allowing a ship to simply step across a bridge rather than traverse the entire swath between two points.
In my novel Fractal Space, I describe the processes as skipping. Rather than trying to fold space over long distances, I propose the solution is to fold space over very short distances and take many tiny steps. Scientifically, I think this solves a few problems. First, the wormhole can be made more stable using less natural and exotic energy to keep it open. Second, even trying to open a wormhole across a span of several light years would take, well, light years. By opening one locally as a skipping process, you avoid the time required to simply build the bridge across long distances. Third, wormhole travel over shorter distances requires far less space be bent – again a factor of time and energy.
Of course, any time new technology is introduced, the first step is to militarize it. Check out my newest novel Fractal Space to see how the galactic powers did just that!
There are a few dangers to skipping across the surface though. If your ship hasn’t carefully charted your route you might find yourself skipping on top of a black hole, only to get sucked in before you can take the next step. Free floating asteroids, rogue planets, solar systems, and stars all pose a similar threat.
What do you think? Is wormhole travel plausible or even feasible? How would you handle the threat?