Wormhole - Definition


The basic notion of an intra-universe wormhole is that it is a compact region of spacetime whose boundary is topologically trivial but whose interior is not simply connected. Formalizing this idea leads to definitions such as the following, taken from Matt Visser's Lorentzian Wormholes.

If a Minkowski spacetime contains a compact region Ω, and if the topology of Ω is of the form Ω ~ R x Σ, where Σ is a three-manifold of the nontrivial topology, whose boundary has topology of the form ∂Σ ~ S2, and if, furthermore, the hypersurfaces Σ are all spacelike, then the region Ω contains a quasipermanent intra-universe wormhole.

Characterizing inter-universe wormholes is more difficult. For example, one can imagine a 'baby' universe connected to its 'parent' by a narrow 'umbilicus'. One might like to regard the umbilicus as the throat of a wormhole, but the spacetime is simply connected. For this reason wormholes have been defined geometrically, as opposed to topologically, as regions of spacetime that constrain the incremental deformation of closed surfaces. For example, in Enrico Rodrigo’s The Physics of Stargates a wormhole is defined informally as

a region of spacetime containing a "world tube" (the time evolution of a closed surface) that cannot be continuously deformed (shrunk) to a world line .

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