Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wormholes for Science Fiction.

In my book “Seer of Mars”, the main reason for mankind coming to Mars is a long-term project to reach an Earth-like planet called Hinun in the Cancri fifty-five system, which is almost identical to our solar system.  

For the sequel “Visionary of Peace”, I needed to answer a question. How do they plan to reach Hinun? Finally, I settled on using a man-made wormhole for travel purposes - maybe because they’re more artistic. 

Although a wormhole has never been created, they aren’t just something from science fiction. The theory for them is based in physics. This led to the challenge of my characters creating the first wormhole in the most difficult of circumstances. Early attempts were less than impressive. At first, my physicists ended up generating small, unpredictable wormholes only capable of lasting for a few seconds in a lab. 

No such thing as a small wormhole you say? According to astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, “wormholes may exist in quantum foam, the smallest environment in the universe. Here, tiny tunnels constantly blink in and out of existence, momentarily linking separate places and time.” 

Yet even small wormholes don’t run on thin air and need something to generate them. I needed exotic matter – another conceptual aspect of physics. Where could I get this stuff? When reading the definitions for exotic matter. To figure out where to get it, I needed to understand it. Exotic Matter: Any kind of matter that is not made up of baryons (protons and neutrons) and has both negative energy density and negative pressure or tension that exceeds the energy density. 

However, the biggest problem with the small, short-term wormhole is that it has no use in reaching Hinun. Still, I couldn’t let the dream of reaching Hinun die for my long suffering characters. I needed more research to get the man-made wormhole working and, I found it. You can find out more in The Vallar Series.