SCIENTISTS are claiming to have created the first-ever "wormhole" - boosting hopes a portal that can transport matter light years across space could one day become reality. A wormhole is a theoretical space portal first identified by Albert Einstein that "can transfer matter through to another dimension." (Image Caption: The wormhole is no longer just science fiction)
It is currently not even proven they actually exist, but a group of physicists have now claimed to have crafted a 'wormhole' that invisibly moves a magnetic field so it "appears to arrive out of nowhere".
Jordi Prat-Camps, a doctoral candidate in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain and co-author of a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, said: "This device can transmit the magnetic field from one point in space to another point, through a path that is magnetically invisible. From a magnetic point of view, this device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an extra special dimension."
In 1935, Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen discovered that the German-born physicist's famous theory of relativity "allowed for the existence of bridges that could link two different points in space-time."
The Einstein-Rosen bridges, or wormholes, could theoretically allow something to travel instantly between great distances. Although the new magnetic wormhole is not quite a space-time wormhole, as suggested by Einstein's theory, it is a realization of a futuristic "invisibility cloak" first suggested as being possible in the journal Physical Review Letters in 2007. The type of magnetic wormhole suggested in 2007 would hide electromagnetic waves from view from the outside.
At the time it was concluded that to make it work would require materials that were extremely impractical to work with. However, new research has found that materials necessary to make a magnetic wormhole already exist and are easy to obtain. The team found superconductors, which can carry high current levels (charged particles), release magnetic field lines from within, thereby distorting them. From a magnetic point of view, this device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an extra special dimension.
Jordi Prat-Camps, a doctoral candidate in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. This enabled a magnetic field to act differently to its surrounding environment - and thereby the first step in hiding the magnetic field's usual disturbance.
The scientists made an object of three layers - two concentric spheres and an interior spiral-cylinder - which transmitted a magnetic field from one end to the other when placed in a liquid-nitrogen bath, as high-temperature superconductors require the low temperatures of the liquid chemical to work.
The two outer layers then concealed the magnetic field's existence, making it "invisible" while in transit. Normally, the presence of the magnetic field should be detectable from all points around it.
Artist impression showing the magnetic wormhole created
Mr Prat-Camps said: "From a magnetic point of view, you have the magnetic field from the magnet disappearing at one end of the wormhole and appearing again at the other end of the wormhole."
The discovery could aid MRI scanning.
Mr Prat-Camps said if a device could funnel a magnetic field from one spot to the other, it would be possible to take pictures of the body with the strong magnet placed far away, freeing people from the claustrophobic environment of an MRI machine.
He said: "If you want to apply this to medical techniques or medical equipment, for sure you will be interested in directing toward any given direction. A spherical shape is not the most practical geometry."