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Carl Sagan's Contact PowerPoint Presentation
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Carl Sagan's Contact

Carl Sagan's Contact

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Carl Sagan's Contact

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  1. Carl Sagan's Contact Honors 368, Section 1 Science in Science Fiction Odis Hickman April 3, 2001

  2. Einstein’s general theory of relativity Time moves slower in space Reversal is possible Is time travel possible? Wormholes: Sci-Fi Trapdoors

  3. Theory of Wormholes • Matter is neither created nor destroyed • Objects sucked into a rotating, electrically charged blackhole do not disappear • One theory is that they reappear elsewhere out of an exit point or whitehole • The tunnel that links a blackhole and whitehole is known as a wormhole

  4. Wormholes • Possibly created after the Big Bang, which began the Universe roughly thirteen billion years ago • The wormhole provides a convenient and rapid way to travel great distances

  5. Wormholes cont. • According to current theories, natural wormholes are too small for star travel • Wormholes are thought to be very unstable, being subject to collapse due to internal and external influences • It is thought that a technically advanced civilization could find the means of widening these wormholes and keeping them open, or even creating their own

  6. Whiteholes • As universes have a beginning and end, so do wormholes • Whiteholes are the reverse of blackholes • The equations of general relativity have the interesting mathematical property of symmetry in time • Just as a black hole can only suck things in, a white hole can only spit things out

  7. Whiteholes cont. • You can take any solution to the equations and imagine that time flows backwards rather than forwards and you will get another valid solution to the equations • These may exist in a different universe, region of space, or time • If not for the wormhole, it would be completely disconnected from the blackhole’s region

  8. Blackholes • A region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull • We suspect that most of the black holes that exist are produced in the deaths of massive stars • Black holes are believed to weigh about as much as a massive star or ten times the mass of the sun

  9. Blackholes cont. • The interior of a charged or rotating black hole can "join up" with a corresponding white hole in such a way that you can fall into the black hole and pop out of the white hole

  10. Blackholes cont. • As you get closer and closer to the center of the hole, "tidal" gravitational forces begin to take affect

  11. Blackholes cont. • As you get closer to the center, these tidal forces get more and more intense until eventually ripping you apart • Sagan originally wanted to use black holes as the aliens' space transit system, but soon realized any travelers would be stretched and crushed into oblivion, thus settling on artificial intergalactic wormholes

  12. Kip Thorne • Relativity theorist and astrophysicist • Professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institue of Technology • Has researched in several areas including gravitational radiation, black holes, neutron stars and the nature of space, time, and gravity

  13. Kip Thorne cont. • Theory that wormholes may act as time machines • According to quantum mechanics, if a spacecraft is traveling at the speed of light in a wormhole, then time would be moving backward relative to other objects

  14. Kip Thorne cont. • Advised Carl Sagan on Contact • Sagan wanted a plausible way in which the characters would be able to zip around the galaxy at superlight speeds without violating the laws of physics to a great extent

  15. Examples of Wormholes • 2001: A Space Odyssey • Stanley Kubrick was the first director to depict his vision of time travel through a wormhole • Star Trek: Generations • Uses a moving ribbon of energy, referred to as a Nexus • Has the power to destroy ships and civilizations and also transport people through time or a fantasy

  16. Examples of Wormholes cont. • Deep Space Nine • A wormhole connects the Alpha and Gamma quadrants from opposite sides of the Milky Way • Sliders’ • Featured a portal that would transport its users to parallel universes • Timecop • Wormholes permit the reversal of a murder

  17. Related Sources • Center for Particle Astrophysics, an NSF Science and Technology Center • • Black Holes and Beyond • • Wormholes: Searching for a “Subway to the Stars” •