I love wormholes. From the ones of popular fiction to the famous ancient created gates of Stargate. They are fascinating objects. Unfortunately, like many technologies used in science fiction, they are often portrayed in a very one dimensional manner. I remember several years ago on a science fiction and fantasy writer’s site asking for brainstorming about wormholes. I stated that I wanted to use them in a story as a well developed technology, and that, as such, they should have more than one use. I had already determined how I was going to generate them, using a big spinning black hole. Then the ends of the completed wormholes could be moved to where needed. I thought that since opening holes in space was an energy intensive process then something that created massive energy would be needed, unless I wanted to move into the realm of magic. So I needed ideas, and asked this site full of, I hoped, very imaginative people to come up with ideas I could use. The result? Not one idea past using wormholes to move people across space. One person even remarked as to why I needed any other use for the objects. I tried to explain that as a fully developed tech they would have found all kinds of uses, but the understanding of that concept was not there. I had already developed several uses myself, and after that exercise figured I would just have to work on the background with the one person I trusted to understand where I was going. Myself. So here are some of the ideas I came up for wormholes.
1. Moving people from one place to another instantaneously. I know, this is the function that most people think of when they think of wormholes. Depending on how they are set up, they could be gateways across the Universe or to the other side of the building. In my story worlds wormholes are expensive to create, not so much to maintain, so most gates are kept open. A variation of the passenger gate is the ship gate, which could accommodate large vessels and change the picture of interstellar commerce and transport.
2. Communications. Imagine that light speed in normal space is the barrier. Then ships as close as a million kilometers have an almost seven second time delay for two way communication. Imagine a miniature, even microscopic wormhole linking ships. The link might go back to a central base, then be rerouted to the entire fleet. Commanders would have instantaneous com with their ships, including video.
3. Heat sinks. Ships that are not working at one hundred percent efficiency would produce a lot of waste heat. They would radiate like small stars on the sensors of the enemy. A truly stealth ship could have a heat sink that sucks up waste radiation and transports it to an area where such radiation is absorbed.
4. Disposals. Just like for heat, but in this case for material objects. The exit hole could be place over the even horizon of a black hole or near a neutron star, for the permanent disposition of things that are dangerous, or that you don’t want to be found.
5. Resupply ports. Why worry about carrying the mass of all your fuel with you when you can port it in through the wormhole as needed. Or food, or any other needed disposable resource.
6. Weapons ports. Imagine a small warship heading into the teeth of an enemy fleet. And suddenly a laser or particle beam that would require a much more massive ship to generate comes out of the small warship. Only the beam actually came out of a wormhole port, generated by a much larger weapon sitting in orbit around a far planet. Or the ship fires missile after missile after impossible missile, all launched from another place and allowed to build up to near light speed before entering the hole on the other end and coming out toward the target the ship’s portal is pointed toward.
There could be endless other alternative techs once wormholes are commonplace. Mining, medicine, and manufacturing are just some of the realms where this tech could appear. Any readers of this post think of any others?