Lancaster: American Physical Society, 1955. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF “THE FIRST REAL SEMINAL WORK ON THE SUBJECT” OF WORMHOLES (Ciufolini, General Relativity, 39). Wheeler’s 1955 paper depicts the first diagram of a wormhole – the first diagram of a tunnel connecting one opening in one region of space to another opening in another region -- to appear in the literature of physics.
The “first serious paper on wormholes was the 1935 paper by Einstein and Rosen. In this paper the authors used a term, ‘bridge,’ for the description of the hypothetical objects” which Wheeler would later call ‘wormholes’ (ibid).
In this 1955 paper, Wheeler discusses wormholes as topological entities called ‘geons’ -- short for ‘gravitational-electromagnetic entity’. He presents a geon a gravitational or electromagnetic wave bound together in a confined area “by the gravitational attraction of its own field energy” (Wikipedia).
Today, “wormholes are generally understood as comparatively narrow ‘bridges’, or ‘tunnels’ between comparatively large or infinitely extended space-time regions” (Bronnikov, Black Holes, 155). One way to think about them is as a hypothetical shortcut for travel between two distant points in the universe. In this paper, Wheeler depicts this ‘shortcut’ as a tunnel, the image still in use today.
“Researchers have no observational evidence for wormholes, but the equations of the theory of general relativity have valid solutions that contain wormholes. Because of its robust theoretical strength, a wormhole is one of the great physics metaphors for teaching general relativity” (Wikipedia). Item #487
CONDITION & DETAILS: Lancaster: American Physical Society 97, January 15, 1955. First edition in original wraps. Very slight wear. An excellent copy.