Researchers have developed a new, unspeakably dangerous, and incredibly slow method of crossing the universe. It involves wormholes linking special black holes that probably don't exist. And it might explain what's really going on when physicists quantum-teleport information from one point to another — from the perspective of the teleported bit of information.

Daniel Jafferis, a Harvard University physicist, described the proposed method at a talk April 13 here at a meeting of the American Physical Society. This method, he told his assembled colleagues, involves two black holes that are entangled so that they are connected across space and time.


Their idea solves a long-standing problem: When something enters a wormhole, it requires negative energy to exit the other side. (Under normal circumstances, the shape of space-time at a wormhole's exit make it impossible to pass through. But a substance with negative energy could, in theory, overcome that obstacle.) But nothing in the physics of gravity and space-time — the physics that describes wormholes — allows for those sorts of negative-energy pulses. So wormholes are impossible to actually pass through.


"It's just a connection in space, but, if you try to get through it, it collapses too quickly so you can't get through it," Jafferis told Live Science after his talk. [9 Ideas About Black Holes That Will Blow Your Mind]


This older model of wormhole dates back to a paper by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, published in Physical Review in 1935. The two physicists realized that, under certain circumstances, relativity would dictate that space-time would curve so extremely that a sort of tunnel (or "bridge") would form linking two separate points.


The physicists wrote the paper in part to exclude the possibility of black holes in the universe. But in the decades since, as physicists came to realize that black holes do exist, the standard image of a wormhole became a tunnel where the two openings appear as black holes. However, according to this idea, such as tunnel would likely never exist naturally in the universe, and if it did exist would disappear before anything passed through it. In the 1980s, the physicist Kip Thorne wrote that something might be able to pass through this wormhole if some sort of negative energy were applied to hold the wormhole open.


Jafferis, along with the Harvard physicist Ping Gao and the Stanford physicist Aron Wall, have developed a way to apply a version of negative energy that relies on an idea from a very different area of physics, called entanglement.

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