Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wormholes and Time Dilation Fields

I am sort of a geek. Or perhaps a nerd... maybe it is that I am nerdy about certain things... The words are basically interchangeable, but the exact meaning of each is contextual in most settings.

Whatever. Anyway, I like the Stargate TV shows: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe.

I also like the Chronicles of Narnia books: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, and The Last Battle. They are great books and if you haven't read them, I would recommend you do that soon.

I have recently been re-watching the Stargate Atlantis series and it got me thinking that the way the Narnia stories work would match up nicely with some actual scientific theories that drive the Stargate stories. Briefly, if you are unfamiliar with Stargate, you should remedy that ;) but the SG-1 series that ran for ten years did a lot to establish the mythology of the whole story, as would probably happen... over ten years... The Stargate is an interplanetary traveling device that allows you to step from one world to another almost instantaneously through a wormhole. Occasionally, outside circumstances affect the operation of the Stargate, causing energy feedback, or time dilation, or something crazy like that. So let's look at one of them: they come across time dilation, which is when one position in space and time is moving at a different rate than another due to some influence like a black hole. When someone is inside the field time passes more quickly, or more slowly than outside the field. This presents problems or opportunities depending on the situation as it gives entities on the other side of the threshold either and advantage or limitation regarding the differences in the passage of time. One is slowed down and the other is relatively much faster so the faster one can get much more done while the slower one does almost nothing. To each, time is moving normally and one wouldn't really notice anything special, but if you were on the outside looking in, you would see people and things in suspended animation so to speak.

That's kind of what happens in the Narnia stories, sort of..

~Narnia Spoilers below. If you want to read the books and don't know the story, go read those, and stop reading this~

In Narnia as the children go through the wardrobe they live out a good portion of their lives but then, after reigning as kings and queens, they find their way back into their own original time line by returning through the wardrobe. On this side of the wardrobe almost no time has passed and they are once again children, with all the memories and knowledge of their Narnian existence. Later, they go back (in another book from the first) and while they have memories of their time there they had become more like their childhood selves and had forgotten how they ought to act. They struggle with the memories of what they once were while they are currently less than that. Each time the spend time in Narnia next to no time passes in the "real" world (ah, but which world is more real?). Pretty crazy stuff.

I don't remember all of the correlations I had thought of when I first started thinking about this. I can't type fast enough. But I remember that in stargate they depict the wormhole's event horizon as a sort of vertical puddle of water, but theoretical physics tends more to the idea that because two points of space are basically now touching each other, as you looked through the event horizon of the wormhole you would simply see the other side of your journey. You would see the destination as though it were but a few steps away, when the point may in fact be light-years from where you start. That is what happens when Lucy first goes through the wardrobe, she starts in and as she pushes through the coats suddenly she is in a forest pushing past the low branches of evergreens.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool in my brain.

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