The Conversation contributed the article to's expert voices.

The professor of physics at the University at Buffalo is Dejan Stojkovic.

Children of all ages are welcome to watch the series. If you have a question, you can send it to an expert.

Can you tell me what wormholes are and do they exist?

Two towns on opposite sides of a mountain The people from these towns would have to travel a long way to see each other. They could dig a tunnel through the mountain to get there quicker. That's the idea behind a travel back in time.

A wormhole is a tunnel between two points in our universe that shortens the travel time between them. Instead of traveling for millions of years from one universe to another, one could theoretically use a wormhole to cut travel time in half.

wormholes act like time machines because of their representation of shortcut through space-time. It is possible to emerge from one end of the wormhole earlier than the other.

Scientists don't have evidence that wormholes exist in our world, but they are useful tools to help us think about space and time. Age-old questions about the universe may be answered by them.

Fact or fiction?

Many science fiction writers use wormholes in their work. Scientists have also been fascinated by the idea of wormholes.

Scientists see wormholes in the solutions to important physics equations even though they have never found one in our universe. There are solutions to Einstein's theory of space-time and general relativity. The universe's shape is described in this theory. Einstein's theory has been tested many, many times and has been found to be correct every single time.

Some scientists think that wormholes are not possible because they are too unstable.

Every object in the universe is affected by gravity. There would be an effect on wormholes as well. The scientists believe that after a short time the middle of the wormhole would collapse under its own gravity, unless it had some force pushing out from inside the wormhole to counteract that force. The most likely way to do that would be to use negative energy, which would oppose gravity and cause the wormhole to collapse.

Negative energy can only be created in small amounts to counteract the gravity of a wormhole. As the universe has expanded, the tiny wormholes that were created at the beginning of the universe have become larger and larger.

Just like black holes?

wormholes are not accepted in mainstream science When scientists first suggested black holes existed, they weren't accepted because they weren't real.

Einstein's field equations were the first to be formulated in 1915, and a German scientist discovered a way to describe black holes after a year. The leading scientists of that era did not believe in the existence of black holes. The term "black hole" wasn't even used until 1967.

There is a chance that the same could happen with other things. It may take some time for scientists to agree on whether or not they exist. The discovery of the existence of wormholes will shape how scientists view and understand the universe.

Hello, curious children. Are you looking for an expert to answer your question? Send your question to an adult. Tell us your age and hometown.

Let us know what you are curious about. We won't be able to answer all of the questions, but we will try.

Under a Creative Commons license, this article is re-posted. The article is open in a new tab.

Become a part of the discussion and follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates on social media. The author's views do not represent those of the publisher.