Astronomers believe they have discovered the key to finding wormholes

As far as we know, wormholes are consistent with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, yet none of them have been found roaming the cosmos. But new research suggests that they are capable of deflecting light just like a black hole does, and this would be the quality by which we could finally find them.

What are wormholes

Wormholes are so far only part of the theory, none have been found and there is no conclusive evidence to ensure that they exist, although the possibility of confirming their existence has not been ruled out either.

Theoretically they are shaped like a funnel that completely crosses space-time and generates a portal through which matter could travel antipodal distances in the cosmos. To imagine a wormhole, the example of the leaf is very useful. Suppose we have a point A and a point B distantly opposite on the surface of the leaf. In order to get from A to B, it is necessary to draw a large line that would be the distance traveled in space time in a common way. However, if we fold the sheet and go through it so that A and B are conjoined, we hardly have to go any distance, just through the surface.

The same thing happens if we transfer it to the Universe, wormholes could go through two diametric points of space-time and thus generate a portal to travel through the Universe. In theory they seem very useful for exploring new regions of the cosmos that we don’t know about, but in practice so far no wormhole has been found.

Gravitational lensing

Physicists have spent decades theorizing what wormholes look like and what their behavior is. A new paper proposes that like black holes, wormholes could warp spacetime in a way that warps light, and they believe this quality could help find them.

It is well known that objects as dense as black holes or galaxies as enormous, distort space-time creating what is called ‘gravitational lensing’, which act like lenses, bringing light from objects so far away that if it were not for gravitational lenses we would not be able to detect. They built a model to simulate the behavior of wormholes if they existed and discovered that they would indeed be so massive as to bend spacetime and warp light.

Thanks to telescopes such as the Hubble and the James Webb, astronomers today know that gravitational lensing generated by black holes produces four spectral images of the objects behind it. According to the research simulation model, a gravitational lens created by a wormhole would produce three images: two dim and one very bright.

In this way, they have found a new way to search for wormholes in the cosmos that until now we have not been able to find. “The magnification through distortion by a wormhole can be very large, which could be proven one day,” said the study’s lead author, Lei-Hua Liu. However, it is an extremely time-consuming method, since it is practically like looking for a needle in a haystack. References: Liu, L. Zhu, M. et al. Microlensing effect of a charged spherically symmetric wormhole. Physical Review D, 2023, DOI