Stellar wormholes could link stars with tunnels of phantom matter

A seriously strange new theory says that stars may be connected through a system of stellar wormholes, linking distant pairs of stars thanks to an exotic material known only as phantom matter. Oh yes, this is going to get weird.

The idea comes from a team of physicists in the central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. The basic theory is simple enough. Phantom matter is the mysterious substance invoked in certain explanations for the accelerating expansion of the universe, which more commonly comes under the heading of dark energy. Wormholes are theoretical features of spacetime that basically act as shortcuts between distant points in the cosmos, although there's still no evidence that they actually exist.

So then...what if you took that phantom matter and put it inside the Sun and other stars? That's obviously a pretty huge leap, but these theorists suggest a wormhole might well exist that link together pairs of stars. Although this idea probably seems very far-fetched, it's not fundamentally impossible. That said, it's a long, long way from being a serious model - the researchers still have not been able to demonstrate a stellar wormhole would be a stable configuration, and if they can't even show that there's not much point bothering with it further.

Still, the researchers are optimistic they can demonstrate stability, and they even have a few ideas as to how we could go about detecting the existence of such wormholes. Although regular stars and wormhole stars would look more or less the same, the latter stars might be warped by their inner wormholes into some unusual sizes or masses. And, if the two linked stars happen to be close together, the connective wormhole might cause their properties to sync up, creating two nearby stars with suspiciously similar appearances.

And, like just about every other speculative cosmic phenomenon, the researchers suggest the churning phantom matter inside the stars might be behind the unusually energetic gamma-ray explosions, the cause of which remains one of the universe's bigger unsolved mysteries.

All in all, it's a strange idea, and there's plenty of reasons why it could fall apart instantly. Phantom matter might not exist, or it might not have the properties necessary to create these wormholes. At that, wormholes themselves may be purely theoretical. And, even if phantom matter and wormholes do exist, stellar wormholes themselves might be fundamentally unstable.

So yes, right now, there's absolutely no sane reason to believe stellar wormholes are really. But hey, we've discovered stranger things out there, and they're not actually impossible. If nothing else, feel free to add stellar wormholes to your science fiction storytelling toolkit.

arXiv via Discovery News.