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Nov 6th 2014

Are We There Yet?

Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar", one of the most-anticipated movies this fall, is about a group of scientists who must travel through a wormhole in able to save a dying Earth. A wormhole, offically known as the Einstein-Rosen bridge, is a tunnel crossing galaxies. It's an intriguing concept, as man has yet to set foot on the next planet. It can be the time machine, which mankind have been wondering for centuries.

"You can go into the future or into the past using traversable wormholes," astrophysicist Eric. W. Davis said.

"Time machines are unavoidable in our physical dimensional space time. Traversable wormholes imply time machines, and [the prediction of wormholes] spawned a number of follow-on research efforts on time machines."

In "Contact" (1997), a wormhole sent Ellie Arroway and her team to a planet near the center of the Milky Way. She was the director of "Project Argus", which was dedicated to the search of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Ellie's trip was a culmination of a lifelong dream; she showed a passion on science at an early age. She was one of the few (in her line of work) who believed that there was more to Pi. Having believed in the existence of aliens, the voyage brought her to a beach (or what the planet-encompassing organism tried to project). She also talk to her father (or an image of him). No words could describe the experience. Carl Sagan, the author of the novel, could relate to all of it.

"It would be an absolutely transforming event in human history. But, the stakes are so high on whether it's true or false that we must demand the more rigorous standards of evidence - precisely because it's so exciting," he said.

Wormholes in fiction

Some novelists used wormholes to create other worlds, where they would play out their beliefs and ideas. This device would be often used in Children's literature, but Philip Pullman had other ideas. In "The Subtle Knife" (1997) and "The Amber Spyglass" (2000), Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry left the genteel world of Oxford and entered Cittàgazze, a deserted realm ruled by angry children who don't have a dæmon. (In Pullman's world, body and soul exist separately. The soul is in the form of a dæmon, which can change forms. They become a particular animal when their associated human reaches puberty.) Then there was Mary Malone, a physicist and former nun, who stumbled into the world of mulefa, elephant creatures who used large seedpods attached to their feet as wheels. These were few of several realms, parallel to ours, which the English author created. They could be seen through the aurora borealis, which some couldn't help but wonder.

This would bring us back to "Interstellar". The film, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, would be the latest in a long list of film and television fiction to depict wormholes. Shows like “Sliders” made it so real, but it would remain a theory. But are we closer than we think it is? Somewhere, Sagan is hopeful.

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