According to New Scientist, a group of physicists from Sofia University in Bulgaria think that wormholes, which are imagined tunnels that connect one part of the universe to another, may be hiding in plain sight as black holes.
Scientists have been confused for a long time about black holes, which eat matter and never let it go.
But where does all this stuff end up? Scientists have thought for a long time that these black holes could lead to “white holes,” or wells that spew out streams of particles and radiation.
Some physicists think that these two ends could connect to make a wormhole, or an Einstein-Rosen bridge, which could stretch time and space to any length. This is an intriguing idea that could change the laws of spacetime as we know them today.
Now, the researchers think that the “throat” of a wormhole might look a lot like black holes that have already been found, like the monster Sagittarius A*, which is thought to be at the center of our galaxy.
“Ten years ago, wormholes were completely in the area of science fiction,” team lead Petya Nedkova at Sofia University told New Scientist. “Now, they are coming forward to the frontiers of science and people are actively searching.”
The team’s new computer model, which is described in a new paper in the journal Physical Review D, suggests that the radiation coming from the discs of matter that swirl around the edges of wormholes may be hard to tell apart from that coming from a black hole.
According to their model, the difference between how much light polarization a black hole and a wormhole give off would be less than 4%.
“With the current observations, you cannot distinguish a black hole or a wormhole — there may be a wormhole there, but we cannot tell the difference,” Nedkova told New Scientist. “So we were looking for something else up there in the sky that could be a way to distinguish black holes from wormholes.”
Nedkova and her colleagues think that there may be ways to tell them apart in the future by making observations. For example, we could look for light that might be coming from the other end of the wormhole and coming out of the black hole in the form of small rings of light.
But right now, we just don’t have the technology to directly observe black holes in that way.
The only way to know for sure would be to look at these strange things in the sky with an even better telescope.
The other choice, of course, would be to throw yourself into a black hole and risk everything.
“If you were nearby, you would find out too late,” Nedkova told the publication. “You’ll get to know the difference when you either die or you pass through.”
READ MORE: How to tell the difference between a regular black hole and a wormhole [New Scientist]