Hannes Hummel for Quanta Magazine

Quantum particles may connect through wormholes in the fabric of space-time.

Chapter 1: Entangled Wormholes

Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

A bold new idea aims to link two famously discordant descriptions of nature. In doing so, it may also reveal how space-time owes its existence to the spooky connections of quantum information.

One hundred years after Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity, physicists are still stuck with perhaps the biggest incompatibility problem in the universe. The smoothly warped space-time landscape that Einstein described is like a painting by Salvador Dalí — seamless, unbroken, geometric. But the quantum particles that occupy this space are more like something from Georges Seurat: pointillist, discrete, described by probabilities. At their core, the two descriptions contradict each other. Yet a bold new strain of thinking suggests that quantum correlations between specks of impressionist paint actually create not just Dalí’s landscape, but the canvases that both sit on, as well as the three-dimensional space around them. And Einstein, as he so often does, sits right in the center of it all, still turning things upside-down from beyond the grave.

Like initials carved in a tree, ER = EPR, as the new idea is known, is a shorthand that joins two ideas proposed by Einstein in 1935. One involved the paradox implied by what he called “spooky action at a distance” between quantum particles (the EPR paradox, named for its authors, Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen). The other showed how two black holes could be connected through far reaches of space through “wormholes” (ER, for Einstein-Rosen bridges). At the time that Einstein put forth these ideas — and for most of the eight decades since — they were thought to be entirely unrelated.

The New York Times

When Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen published their seminal paper pointing out puzzling features of what we now call entanglement, The New York Times treated it as front-page news.

But if ER = EPR is correct, the ideas aren’t disconnected — they’re two manifestations of the same thing. And this underlying connectedness would form the foundation of all space-time. Quantum entanglement — the action at a distance that so troubled Einstein — could be creating the “spatial connectivity” that “sews space together,” according to Leonard Susskind, a physicist at Stanford University and one of the idea’s main architects. Without these connections, all of space would “atomize,” according to Juan Maldacena, a physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who developed the idea together with Susskind. “In other words, the solid and reliable structure of space-time is due to the ghostly features of entanglement,” he said. What’s more, ER = EPR has the potential to address how gravity fits together with quantum mechanics.

Not everyone’s buying it, of course (nor should they; the idea is in “its infancy,” said Susskind). Joe Polchinski, a researcher at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose own stunning paradox about firewalls in the throats of black holes triggered the latest advances, is cautious, but intrigued. “I don’t know where it’s going,” he said, “but it’s a fun time right now.”

The Black Hole Wars

The road that led to ER = EPR is a Möbius strip of tangled twists and turns that folds back on itself, like a drawing by M.C. Escher.

A fair place to start might be quantum entanglement. If two quantum particles are entangled, they become, in effect, two parts of a single unit. What happens to one entangled particle happens to the other, no matter how far apart they are.

Andrea Kane/Institute for Advanced Study

Juan Maldacena at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.

Maldacena sometimes uses a pair of gloves as an analogy: If you come upon the right-handed glove, you instantaneously know the other is left-handed. There’s nothing spooky about that. But in the quantum version, both gloves are actually left- and right-handed (and everything in between) up until the moment you observe them. Spookier still, the left-handed glove doesn’t become left until you observe the right-handed one — at which moment both instantly gain a definite handedness.

Entanglement played a key role in Stephen Hawking’s 1974 discovery that black holes could evaporate. This, too, involved entangled pairs of particles. Throughout space, short-lived “virtual” particles of matter and anti-matter continually pop into and out of existence. Hawking realized that if one particle fell into a black hole and the other escaped, the hole would emit radiation, glowing like a dying ember. Given enough time, the hole would evaporate into nothing, raising the question of what happened to the information content of the stuff that fell into it.

But the rules of quantum mechanics forbid the complete destruction of information. (Hopelessly scrambling information is another story, which is why documents can be burned and hard drives smashed. There’s nothing in the laws of physics that prevents the information lost in a book’s smoke and ashes from being reconstructed, at least in principle.) So the question became: Would the information that originally went into the black hole just get scrambled? Or would it be truly lost? The arguments set off what Susskind called the “black hole wars,” which have generated enough stories to fill many books. (Susskind’s was subtitled “My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics.”)

Eventually Susskind — in a discovery that shocked even him — realized (with Gerard ’t Hooft) that all the information that fell down the hole was actually trapped on the black hole’s two-dimensional event horizon, the surface that marks the point of no return. The horizon encoded everything inside, like a hologram. It was as if the bits needed to re-create your house and everything in it could fit on the walls. The information wasn’t lost — it was scrambled and stored out of reach.

Jeff Singer

Leonard Susskind at home in Palo Alto, Calif.

Susskind continued to work on the idea with Maldacena, whom Susskind calls “the master,” and others. Holography began to be used not just to understand black holes, but any region of space that can be described by its boundary. Over the past decade or so, the seemingly crazy idea that space is a kind of hologram has become rather humdrum, a tool of modern physics used in everything from cosmology to condensed matter. “One of the things that happen to scientific ideas is they often go from wild conjecture to reasonable conjecture to working tools,” Susskind said. “It’s gotten routine.”

Holography was concerned with what happens on boundaries, including black hole horizons. That left open the question of what goes on in the interiors, said Susskind, and answers to that “were all over the map.” After all, since no information could ever escape from inside a black hole’s horizon, the laws of physics prevented scientists from ever directly testing what was going on inside.

Then in 2012 Polchinski, along with Ahmed Almheiri, Donald Marolf and James Sully, all of them at the time at Santa Barbara, came up with an insight so startling it basically said to physicists: Hold everything. We know nothing.

The so-called AMPS paper (after its authors’ initials) presented a doozy of an entanglement paradox — one so stark it implied that black holes might not, in effect, even have insides, for a “firewall” just inside the horizon would fry anyone or anything attempting to find out its secrets.

Scaling the Firewall       

Here’s the heart of their argument: If a black hole’s event horizon is a smooth, seemingly ordinary place, as relativity predicts (the authors call this the “no drama” condition), the particles coming out of the black hole must be entangled with particles falling into the black hole. Yet for information not to be lost, the particles coming out of the black hole must also be entangled with particles that left long ago and are now scattered about in a fog of Hawking radiation. That’s one too many kinds of entanglements, the AMPS authors realized. One of them would have to go.

The reason is that maximum entanglements have to be monogamous, existing between just two particles. Two maximum entanglements at once — quantum polygamy — simply cannot happen, which suggests that the smooth, continuous space-time inside the throats of black holes can’t exist. A break in the entanglement at the horizon would imply a discontinuity in space, a pileup of energy: the “firewall.”

David Kaplan, Petr Stepanek and MK12 for Quanta Magazine; Music by Steven Gutheinz

David Kaplan explores black hole physics and the problem of quantum gravity in this In Theory video.

The AMPS paper became a “real trigger,” said Stephen Shenker, a physicist at Stanford, and “cast in sharp relief” just how much was not understood. Of course, physicists love such paradoxes, because they’re fertile ground for discovery.

Both Susskind and Maldacena got on it immediately. They’d been thinking about entanglement and wormholes, and both were inspired by the work of Mark Van Raamsdonk, a physicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who had conducted a pivotal thought experiment suggesting that entanglement and space-time are intimately related.

“Then one day,” said Susskind, “Juan sent me a very cryptic message that contained the equation ER = EPR. I instantly saw what he was getting at, and from there we went back and forth expanding the idea.”

Their investigations, which they presented in a 2013 paper, “Cool Horizons for Entangled Black Holes,” argued for a kind of entanglement they said the AMPS authors had overlooked — the one that “hooks space together,” according to Susskind. AMPS assumed that the parts of space inside and outside of the event horizon were independent. But Susskind and Maldacena suggest that, in fact, particles on either side of the border could be connected by a wormhole. The ER = EPR entanglement could “kind of get around the apparent paradox,” said Van Raamsdonk. The paper contained a graphic that some refer to half-jokingly as the “octopus picture” — with multiple wormholes leading from the inside of a black hole to Hawking radiation on the outside.

Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine

The ER = EPR idea posits that entangled particles inside and outside of a black hole’s event horizon are connected via wormholes.

In other words, there was no need for an entanglement that would create a kink in the smooth surface of the black hole’s throat. The particles still inside the hole would be directly connected to particles that left long ago. No need to pass through the horizon, no need to pass Go. The particles on the inside and the far-out ones could be considered one and the same, Maldacena explained — like me, myself and I. The complex “octopus” wormhole would link the interior of the black hole directly to particles in the long-departed cloud of Hawking radiation.

Holes in the Wormhole

No one is sure yet whether ER = EPR will solve the firewall problem. John Preskill, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, reminded readers of Quantum Frontiers, the blog for Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, that sometimes physicists rely on their “sense of smell” to sniff out which theories have promise. “At first whiff,” he wrote, “ER = EPR may smell fresh and sweet, but it will have to ripen on the shelf for a while.”

Whatever happens, the correspondence between entangled quantum particles and the geometry of smoothly warped space-time is a “big new insight,” said Shenker. It’s allowed him and his collaborator Douglas Stanford, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study, to tackle complex problems in quantum chaos through what Shenker calls “simple geometry that even I can understand.”

To be sure, ER = EPR does not yet apply to just any kind of space, or any kind of entanglement. It takes a special type of entanglement and a special type of wormhole. “Lenny and Juan are completely aware of this,” said Marolf, who recently co-authored a paper describing wormholes with more than two ends. ER = EPR works in very specific situations, he said, but AMPS argues that the firewall presents a much broader challenge.

Like Polchinski and others, Marolf worries that ER = EPR modifies standard quantum mechanics. “A lot of people are really interested in the ER = EPR conjecture,” said Marolf. “But there’s a sense that no one but Lenny and Juan really understand what it is.” Still, “it’s an interesting time to be in the field.”

Clarification on April 27, 2015: The article has been altered to clarify that only maximally entangled particles have to have monogamous entanglements. 

Part two of this series, exploring the details of how entanglement could construct space-time, will appear on Tuesday, April 28.

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  • Intriguing ideas, perhaps the notion of ball lightning being a white-hole like phenomenon brought to Earth by its gravitational well isn’t so far fetched after all.

    Wonder what Prof. Dr. Hawking has to say on the matter?

  • Forgjve my intrusion. But could those ” points” at the ends of the squiggly lines be stars in another Universe? They would in fact radiate. A Black Hole sucks in stuff here and transports it to another Universe punched out on it’s back side. A kind of “mix master” effect where ALL matter and energy is recycled endlessly. A Super Nova sits and simmers until it gets big enough and hot enough to erupt and spew stuff out into it’s universe. Perhaps we are seeing this phnomenon and completely missing the implications.

  • The article says entanglement can only happen between pairs, but this experiment produces triplets at the rate of hundreds per hour:


  • Fascinating; we’re used the the concept, from media, that *things* travel through ‘wormholes’, when it appears that it could be quantum entangled information.
    I guess technically this means that we could discern the contents of a black hole by ‘reading’ the information in particles that don’t have a corresponding entangled partner in this side of space (that we could ‘find’).
    Trippy either way.

  • Just another stark example of how desperately theorists need experimentalists lest they lose their minds.

  • ER=EPR is a wonderful idea. This idea will clearly open new doors to quantum gravity. For me the nonlocal effects of quantum entanglement is always a mystery. This seems to resolve the issue. Prof. Mark Van Raamsdonk’s idea [http://arxiv.org/pdf/1005.3035.pdf] of building up space-time by entanglement is also really interesting and I feel that I need to climb a mountain !

  • While reading this fascinating article, I started to wonder what are implications of quantum entanglement on time travel. Does quantum entanglement mean time travel is impossible since both particles would have to move through time? Or is quantum entanglement a time agnostic phenomenon?

    I have absolutely no idea what the answer would be.

  • could it mean that everything ‘outside’ of black holes is actually ‘inside’, and vice versa.
    ultimately leads to the idea that the “bang/crunch” singularity is a self contained multiverse.

  • Very interesting article!

    Tom Holroyd: I too was confused by the claim that only two particles could be entangled. Many-body interactions are quite common in quantum mechanics and are required for phenomenon as common as second-harmonic generation of green light (532 nm) from infrared light (1064 nm) in most green laser pointers.

    Sijo: I completely agree about the nonlocal effects. The article seemed to implicitly adopt the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which Schrödinger’s cat is both alive and dead until you observe it. However, if ER=EPR turns out to be true, it seems to me that the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation makes more sense. In this interpretation particles have a well-defined state, but “measurement” causes a nonlocal perturbation that results in the phenomenon of “entanglement”. This nonlocality has always bothered physicists, but if there are wormholes linking “entangled” particles, then the effect is no longer really nonlocal.

    Great food for thought!

  • Albert Einstein said it best” for every action is an equal and opposite reaction”. Dwell on that for a moment….can you not see the correlation between that thought and worm holes? If not , spare me.

  • The instant such knowledge is attained,only to be lost contains the answer to a question never asked yet continually understood by the lack of limiting or finite reasoning! To fully know is to be able to not know,instead of finding the answer let the answer find it self! In thinking we make the mistake.Inside thought are ideas,inside ideas we find insight yet it is in believing or understanding only the concept is where I for one have limited the knowledge contained within the electricity my brain uses to process thought.In order to understand,I must first let understanding be of itself! I don’t know if this passes but I felt smart writing it! Yay me!

  • Tom Holroyd and smaddox:

    Yes, it is true that entanglement can occur between any number of particles. Maximal entanglement, however, can occur only between two. I suspect that the article left out the qualifier ‘maximal’ because there isn’t any way to make this precise without getting into technicalities. But if you want a rough idea of what this means, here’s an attempt on my part.

    Imagine a bunch of particles which are entangled. We’d like to study how entangled they are. To this end, there are several different ways of quantifying entanglement. The one that is relevant to this discussion is what is called the entropy of entanglement. It turns out that even if the complete quantum state involving all the particles is pure state, it looks as if the individual particles in question have ensembles of states associated with them. To take the EPR example, the complete state is a superposition (which is to say, a sum) of the states up-down and down-up. This is still a single state. But if we ignore the second particle, it looks as if the first particle has an ensemble of states associated to it (half up, and half down). This is different from a superposition and actually reflects our ignorance of the full state in a manner analogous to how classical probabilities reflect ignorance of the complete details of some classical system.

    Once we have an ensemble, we can talk of entropy; the entropy associated with this ‘quasi-ensemble’ (not a standard term) is the entropy of entanglement of the particle we have singled out to the whole system. This entropy has an upper cap to it; when this cap is attained, we say that the particle in question is maximally entangled with the whole system. You can intuitively think of this as the information regarding the particle being maximally dispersed the the full state.

    Monogamy of entanglement, which is referred to in the article, simply means that if a particle is maximally entangled with some system consisting of itself and another particle, it cannot be entangled at all with a different system of consisting of itself and another particle different from that in the first system. The information about the state of the particle, to use our intuitive picture, may be dispersed a little in one two-particle system and a little in another, but if it is maximally dispersed in one such system, there is nothing left to disperse in any other such system.

  • then his head must be a hologram too. as for my head it is pure chaos. is that because the inside of a black hole is chaos?

  • The whole field of research in black holes is based on mathematical consequences of layers upon layers of unproven assumptions. That the theories developed to explain what may be the simplest massive structures become exponentially more complex tells me that the research is skidding our of control into abstractions that have nothing to do with reality.

  • I don’t know why we have to wait until April 28th for the next portion of this series when we already know that there is no such thing as time and it already exists.

  • Someone said that a paradox is a fact described in a tricky way.

    About two-particle entanglement, let’s avoid the notion that “… in the quantum version, both gloves are actually left- and right-handed (and everything in between) up until the moment you observe them.” since that leads us to the paradox that “What happens to one entangled particle happens to the other, no matter how far apart they are.”

    There is no point in arguing about what has not been measured. All we know is some property of both particles (total charge, angular momentum…). Then, measuring one of them simply lets us infer the state of the other one. Did anything “happen” to the first or to the other particle? No point arguing. To resolve the issue we would need to know the state of either one before the measurement.

    Still, the concept of a state which has not been measured may help, in retrospect, to appease our Newtonian minds: after finding one particle in one state, we may imagine that that particle was in that state all along, and likewise, that the other particle has been in the corresponding state all along. Thus: no “action-at-a-distance”, no paradox.

  • EASY TRAVELLER – thanks for your comments, I think they may be spot on. TO me it sounds like an intriguing idea.

  • Wormholes might make for a good thought experiment, but I think the real insight will come when we realize that there aren’t two entangled particles, it’s one hyperparticle that we as Flatlanders see as two particles joined by a wormhole through our experience of spacetime in 4D.

  • Daniel L. Burnstein – That we can observe only 5% of reality supports your argument. We await the next Newton/Einstein to relieve our ignorance.

  • I giggled at the comment that quantum entanglement must be monogamous. Maybe I can do something with that in poetry.

  • This looks quite similar to an idea I have been working on for several years, fortunately on inspection it is mostly quite different. –
    In my model the quantum world is separated from the classical universe by an event horizon and an FTL barrier. (ie the similar part) From there though my model is quite different. The quantum universe is defined as a region where the speed of light approximates to zero. The physical time axis of space time is also restricted to quantum scales. On classical scales space time is just space with a point time – which is unified by an absolute frame defined as an FTL Simultaneity. (in other words it replaces general relativity with an FTL model)
    In this model stable wormholes cant even exist except over short distances. Massed objects such as atoms, protons, and electrons are defined as quantum scale singularities and gravity is primarily an FTL interaction though this part is still in development. In FTL models black holes tend to define a minimum speed for gravity that approaches instantaneous, and wormholes are restricted because space/space time cannot fold. Obviously very different to ER = EPR.

  • The last comment reminded me of a poem, moderators may find it moderately incoherent, anyway…

    Spukhafte Fernwirkung:

    I, myself, am at the heart of it.

    So, let us begin somewhere in the middle.

    Later on, they will remember how it started.

    We all know that the end will take care of itself.

    Not deja-vu – evaporating uncertainty.

    Not vertigo – retro-causality.

    We interact + you become us + I am ensemble.

    I – know you have violated the sanctity of our experiment.

    Bob – has danced with you before We – become arbitrarily distant at each interaction.

    You – have consistently disobeyed local realism.

    Received by the observer – your particles still spin.

    Subsequently, we all know what the results will be.

    Bob can not win.

    There is no magic communication; no uncertainty about a system in a pure state.

    I, alone with – your unsurprising purity – our unity.

    Entangled then separated.

    we miss you Alice

  • The claim that black holes start to differ from their general relativistic picture already at the horizon (and not merely near the singularity) was clearly articulated for the first time (as far as I know) by Samir Mathur, at Ohio. Indeed the entanglement entropy based argument that is the key in the AMPS paper is not original, it was done for the first time by Mathur half a decade before them — incidentally, this is not a controversial fact about the history of these ideas, everyone knows this, most people (including possibly even AMPS) give him credit for this.

    Of course the AMPS claim goes further, and claims that there is violent drama at the horizon.

    Now, these claims could be wrong — but is truly unbelievable and unfair how Mathur is not even mentioned in this Quanta article. That new physics should show up already at the horizon and not merely at the singularity, a revolutionary idea at the time, was certainly a claim first made by him.

  • [email protected] says:

    If this ER = EPR entanglement idea is true then it may well also throw more light (so to speak!) on dark matter.

    It seems vaguely plausible that dark matter is somehow associated with black holes, like mist round a waterfall, to use a pictureque phrase.

    If entanglement can also occur between pairs of black holes, and dark matter is a related phenomena, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that the amount of dark matter surrounding a pair is commensurate with their relative proximity- The closer they are, the less surrounding dark matter.

    That might even be possible to measure too, if one could find a pair of merging galaxies and prove that their associated dark matter was mysteriously vanishing as the black holes they contained approached each other. The snag is it would probably happen (if at all) far too slowly to be detectable.

    (It would also explain why some black holes, such as PDS-456, seem so disproportionately vast – No nearby black holes to suppress each others’ dark matter.)

  • My favorite reads are popular treatments of theoretical physics, especially with regards to theories having do with quantum mechanics and its ramifications. However, these days, I have a feeling of déjà vu about articles like wormholes, black holes, dark matter, and EPR etc.

    Have we made progress? Or are we merely rearranging the deck chairs?

  • I wonder if the wormhole conjecture can be restated as a fifth (or higher) dimension that stitches space-time together.

  • To elaborate on my initial comment, a fifth dimension would beyond time, so that the limitations experienced within the four dimensions of space-time would be irrelevant. The fifth dimension might consist only of particle information, and especially information about paired particles.

  • I think it is possible all black holes are connected. Maybe by wormholes. Is there any way to apply math to this idea to check it out? Just musings from a non physicist….

  • I want to note that aprecursor of ER=EPR was formulated earlier. In arXiv:0910.4017 I introduced the notion of wormhole space as the common cause of BH entropy-area law, the holographic principle and quantum entanglement. This idea was in fact developed roughly since the year 2000 in several papers as e.g. arXiv:gr-qc/0110077 (J.Math.Phys. 44(2003)5588).

  • “The smoothly warped space-time landscape that Einstein described is like a painting by Salvador Dalí — seamless, unbroken, geometric. But the quantum particles that occupy this space are more like something from Georges Seurat: pointillist, discrete, described by probabilities. ”

    A GREAT ekphrastic metaphor! Quanta has some of the best science writing I see these days. Keep it up!

  • I think a better question would be to ask, why do I not see comments here registering female names. I have read the article and all of the statements. Lots of intellectualism, but not much in the way of conceptual ideas. Woman think differently than men. We have much to contribute in a “forest kind of viewpoint”. Global thinking. I think physics at any level takes artistic thinking, as well as mathematics; dimensional, visual concepts along with comprehensive knowledge, male or female. Where are the women? I can’t possibly be the only woman who is interested in physics.

  • Can someone take a stab at explaining for a layperson:
    a) why #2 below is true?
    b) why #1 below is true absent EP=EPR?
    c) why #1 below is false if EP=EPR?
    1) “If a black hole’s event horizon is a smooth, seemingly ordinary place, as relativity predicts (the authors call this the “no drama” condition), the particles coming out of the black hole must be [maximally] entangled with particles falling into the black hole.”
    2) “Yet for information not to be lost, the particles coming out of the black hole must also be [maximally] entangled with particles that left long ago and are now scattered about in a fog of Hawking radiation.”

  • If “The complex “octopus” wormhole would link the interior of the black hole directly to particles in the long-departed cloud of Hawking radiation” means that entanglement of a pair created during a pair-production event is preserved while one falls into the hole and the other escapes…how can this occur without either radiation escaping from on or within the event horizon, or the firewall event occurring as a particle falls into the hole? I apologize for my ignorance – but in brief: how does the material inside the hole become entangled with Hawking radiation?

  • The idea that wormholes could solve the EPR paradox is actually not new. I saw it first mentioned in the 1993 book by P. R. Holland “The Quantum Theory of Motion”, page 482, citing a paper by Morris, Thorne and Yurtsever in Phys. Rev. Lett. 61, 1446 – 9, (1988). The idea of Maldacena and Susskind suffers from the violation of the quantum mechanical linear superposition principle. This is not the case for a similar idea I had published in Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie 38, 2013, 129 – 137, entitled “Teichmueller Space Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”. It makes the assumption that the vacuum of space is a kind of plasma made up of positive and negative mass Planck mass particles, with the quantum mechanical wave function analytically continued into complex Teichmueller space, which for two entangled particles has the topology of a Moebius strip with a thickness equal to a Planck length. There the two particles can at the same time have a large spatial spatial separation, but also a short Planck length separation through the Moebius strip by a traversable wormhole.
    F. Winterberg, Professor of Physics.

  • I first conjectured that tiny wornholes might explain quantum entanglement in the “Scientific Commentary” of the book “Space-Time and Beyond” (Dutton 1975) discussed by David Kaiser in “How the Hippies Saved Physics.” Lenny Susskind and I worked together at Cornell in the early 1960s.

  • “The smoothly warped space-time landscape that Einstein described is like a painting by Salvador Dalí — seamless, unbroken, geometric. But the quantum particles that occupy this space are more like something from Georges Seurat: pointillist, discrete, described by probabilities. At their core, the two descriptions contradict each other.”
    Yes, the modern philosophy of physics is like abstract art.
    Abstract art is what happened when painters stopped looking at reality
    of nature and expressed their own psychological feeling of it.
    In this way physicists stopped looking at reality of nature and create
    mathematical theories only for the sake of theories and then they say
    “nature is paradoxical” and blame the nature in intricate complication .
    Gravity-time and Gravity-space.
    We speak the word “time” without concrete scientific definition.
    Therefore our knowledge about “time” is foggy.
    But if we say “gravity-time” then the fog is disappeared because
    for us there isn’t another “time” expect the “gravity-time”.
    We don’t use light- travel- time
    ( so- called 1Astronomical Unit) in our daily life.
    The same “fog” is with the word “space”.
    For us there isn’t another “space” expect the “gravity- space”.
    We don’t use another spaces in our daily life.
    The conceptions “time” and “space” are property of Gravity.
    Without gravity there isn’t “time”, there isn’t “space”.
    The discussion about “time” and “space” without Gravity is tautology.
    Israel Sadovnik Socratus

  • It is pretty certain that there is a black hole at the core of almost every galaxy. Could the non local connection somehow be keeping the outer reaches of each galaxy from spinning as fast as gravitational theory requires? If so this could be an alternate theory to dark matter.

  • Beautiful written article. Tired of the other rehashes out there but this had some real meat too it. bravo.

  • For me, there is a problem of which one of them is more fundamental. ER=>EPR, or EPR=>ER? From the geometrical point of view, EPR is more complex since ER is something seems ‘hairless’,which only cares about the ‘strength’ of entanglement. But we do have different types of entanglement with the same amount of entanglement. Susskind and others considered the multiple connected ER bridge by collapsing multiple copies of GHZ bits. Should we get a different structure of wormhole from collapsing W state bits?

  • I first suggested ER = EPR i.e. a duality between pair entanglement and wormholes in print in Space-Time and Beyond the first E.P. Dutton edition 1975 p. 134

  • Wouldn't "all" these black holes/ERB's be entangled anyway? – they are sitting it a bath of CMB possibly left over from the great matter/antimatter sort out – maybe enough pairs of entangled (if somewhat stretched) photons have rained down over the aeons into black holes to make this entanglement happen without Prof Suskind's somewhat expensive (thought) experiment (hauling around Bell pairs and throwing them in). Also, from what little I've been able to understand, two entangled things is fairly simple, three gets complicated and four is probably a "plumber's nightmare". I guess if I knew more physics I'd explore the idea that this explains /is analogous to, "quark confinement" ("two's company, three is a crowd and the four colour theory is something else entirely").

  • A grainy universe within a 'dimensionless medium' would describe something very similar to the above. From the point of view of the medium the physical universe would also appear as a hologram. It would also suggest that there may be a link between black holes and dark energy.

  • In response to the last few comments:

    1) Dark energy is not associated with matter, while dark matter directly proportional to the size of black holes in the center of galaxies. I assume you're talking about dark matter? There's still 100x more of it in this room than normal matter, and its located somewhat near black holes. (Dark energy is like anti-gravity and there's probably 100,000 fold more energy in dark energy than all black holes combined, but I don't know about dark matter)

    2) Godel's metric – time loops – there are no singularities with that model, it's more parsimonious, the idea was developed by Einstein's best friend and the greatest logician in history, and the consequences of time loops make all classical physics meaningless.. so that's why it's not discussed.

  • the wormhole only shares information(possibly faster than the speed of light) between particles, not particles themselves…. some comments have this confused

  • what if space is similar to a peace of paper and black holes are little holes in the paper and when the holes in the paper connect it creates temporary wormholes and the is how I think black holes are created but using a metaphor

  • QM will be devided into relativistic+non- locality and fluid mechanics description by Couder type model.So the classical systems will win and "quantum weirdness" will be mourned by the enthusiasts.This will be just, as the General relativity, being true, combine the main parameters of universe.

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