Works By Australian Authors
Science Wish List by Rodney Bartlett
TEA for SPOT
(contribution # 6 - written April 22. 1994)
          Perhaps one of  the most beneficial discoveries civilisation
          could make is that, just like travellers on buses or planes,
          space and time could also have a transit point (T-Spot).

          This contribution likes  talking  about mathematics, so I'll
          include this thought - A decade ago Stephen Hawking and J.B.
          Hartle agreed that  time is finite, but without a beginning.
          Applying quantum theory  as  presently understood results in
          time  becoming finite  but  without  beginning;  applying  a
          revised interpretation of  quantum  theory could conceivably
          result in an  infinite  time  -  which  Einstein's equations
          support - that  has  a beginning (the word t infinite' could
          then mean 'forever expanding').

          There is 'a  powerful  statement  in  mathematical  topology
          known as the  fixed-point  theorem. The fixed-point theorem,
          which  was  proved   before   World   War  I  by  the  Dutch
          mathematician Luitzen Egbertus ban Brouwer, states that when
          a  surface is  subjected  to  certain  forms  of  continuous
          distortion, at least  one  point  of the surface will remain
          "fixed", or stationary.  Put  in this dry, abstract way, the
          theorem may not  seem remarkable, but it has many impressive
          consequences for the physical world.

          'The fixed-point theorem . . . applies to the human head and
          to  other spheres,  such  as  the  Earth.  It  states  that-
          mathematically,  a  sphere   cannot  be  associated  with  a
          continuous field of  radiating  lines  without there being a
          fixed point. For  a  head of hair this means that there must
          be a fixed  point,  or  whorl, from which the hair radiates.
          For the Earth  this  means  that  the wind cannot be blowing
          everywhere  on the  surface  at  once;  there  is  always  a
          tranquil spot.'

          (from  'Dr. Crypton's  Puzzles  and  Mind-Teasers'  -  Omega
          Science Digest, March/April '83)

          If, as seems almost certain, space-time is positively curved
          like a sphere  (space is a finite but unbounded sphere. time
          or subspace is  a forever expanding sphere): the fixed-point
          theorem must apply  to it also. Then one point in space-time
          could not be anything like the rest of space-time. We know a
          certain length of  time elapses when proceeding any distance
          through space, whether this refers to a walk down the street
          or a flight  to  some  distant  star  system  -  but at this
          particular spot, the  laws  of  physics  could well indicate
          just the opposite.  Similarly,  we  can't  visit the past or
          future - yet  in  this  spot,  time  travel may be perfectly
          normal and practical.

          To illustrate the  importance  of  wormhole  shortcuts  (the
          T-Spot would be  where  wormholes intersect*), visualise the
          universe as a  giant Mobius strip (an everyday example would
          be a strip  of paper with a half twist -one of 180 degrees -
          and the ends joined to form a loop? that is 15 billion light
          years long but only 50,000 miles thick. If you walk around a
          paper Mobius strip, you must traverse its entire length once
          to reach a  spot  on  the  other side of the paper from your
          starting point (maybe  less than a millimetre distant). In a
          spaceship flying around  the  cosmic Mobius strip, you would
          need to travel at the speed of light for 15 billion years to
          reach that spot 50,000 miles away if you travelled along the
          'surface' of ordinary space-time curvature. But if you could
          travel at 80% light-speed directly from start to finish (via
          a cosmic wormhole  through space-time's curves), you'd reach
          your destination in  about 1/3 of a second. (This analogy of
          the universe to a Mobius strip may be particularly apt since
          its  constituent particles  of  matter  have  the  subatomic
          property science calls  spin  described  as l/2, which means
          they must be turned through two complete revolutions to look
          the same -  just as one must travel twice around the surface
          of a Mobius strip to reach the start again.)

          * At first,  the  T-Spot (a point that is not like any other
          spot in space-time) might be associated with the location of
          the  mini  black  hole  that  recycles  the  universe.  I've
          associated it with wormhole intersections because in 'Cosmos
          Factory' it was  suggested  that  big  bangs could regularly
          recur. Thus, there  would  be many mini black holes (each as
          massive as a  mountain  yet  only  1/lOOOth  the  size of an
          atom). Each primordial  (mini) black hole would, it appears,
          naturally   generate  microscopic   wormholes   ('Physicists
          speculate that some of the more violent fluctuations [in the
          case of revised  quantum  theory,  unstable mini black holes
          which, being l/lOOOth  of  an  atom's size are, as page 5 of
          'Little Big TOE'  states, particles in a different dimension
          {hyperspace} and at  a  different point on the same path {ie
          on the path  of  cosmogenesis,  20  lbs.  of  particles from
          familiar space are  needed  to  make particles in hyperspace
          but,  seemingly  paradoxically,   hyperspace  particles  are
          required  to  produce   ordinary   matter}]   may   puncture
          space-time, creating Lilliputian  wormholes'  -  page 131 of
          'Cosmic  Mysteries':  in  the  series  'Voyage  Through  the
          Universe' by Time-Life Books). Wormholes' diameters might be
          increased by the  use  of  the  'exotic  matter' or 'elastic
          putty'  (matter  from   hyperspace?)   proposed  by  Caltech
          physicist Kip Thorne  and his colleagues (see 'BREAKTHROUGHS
          in  Health  and  Science':  July/August  1990)  -  the  same
          technology of the  far  future  might  manipulate wormholes'
          lengths and orientations  in space and time so as to produce
          a 'cosmic transit point' (the T-spot).