(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).