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I've seen many movies in which advanced civilizations use wormhole-opening technologies to either travel across the universe, or to simply get to the other side of a city. And this is also what I've used for my story, in which an advanced alien civilization uses devices like these to travel across their planet, the universe, and even other dimensions and universes. (As you can guess, they have gotten rid most of their previous methods of transportation like airplanes, hyperloop trains, cars, using them only in certain situations)

The device basically works by locking the coordinates in the space-time continuum, checking if the location is safe for the one who enters or that no one or nothing is at the spot in which the second opening of the wormhole will open. But I've been wondering, if a civilization holds a device like this and it's practically the perfect mean of transportation, would that mean that transportation methods can't be developed any further or not? If they can be developed, how?

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  • $\begingroup$ I did not vote to close, but I agree that in current form, this question is not a good stack question. IMO it should be rephrased as "Why would civilization capable of perfect wormhole/teleportation use old transport technologies like cars or trains" or something like that. $\endgroup$ – M i ech Dec 9 '18 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ This is beyond too broad. Cort's answer, which doesn't actually answer your question, is actually the only useful answer - pointing out the fact that nothing is ever perfect. But inventing a whole new tech beyond an entirely fictional tech that we don't understand other than conceptually is beyond the scope of this site. $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 9 '18 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ How do you lock coordinates in space-time continuum? $\endgroup$ – user6760 Dec 10 '18 at 1:56
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"It's practically the perfect means of transportation..."

If this is the case, then they won't develop further technology. However, any real technology has a list of tradeoffs it made. Once you implement your wormhole-device, you'll find that the implementation leads to options.

One issue is what is a "wormhole-opening technology?" Are these giant fixed gates like those in SG-1 which had to be dropped by a slower-than-light craft? Is this portal's "speedy-thing-goes-in/speedy-thing-goes-out" portals which operate instantaneously? What happens when wormholes cross? Can they knot? How much energy does it take to make one? How long do they last? How small can they be made? How big can they be made? Can they be one-directional? Can they be two-directional? Can they be switched between targets?

That's twelve questions right there, the answer to any one of which may inspire the next level of transportation. And I didn't even touch the concept of parallel universes (which is a valid mathematical concept, but we currently don't have the slightest inkling about what they mean scientifically).

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Your description of a wormhole transportation device bears little semblance to a 'hard-sci-fi' wormhole (exotic matter, negative energy, enormous energies to stabilize, difficult to safely transport stuff through, and most of all - probably fixed between two locations (think more like Stargate than Startrek).

But if you do have an (almost?) instantaneous teleportation device (from any point A to B), then the only likely improvements I can think of are:

  • a) something cheaper or more energy efficient - economic driver.
  • b) something more portable - hand-held personal transporter maybe?
  • c) something safer - ...its cheap, its efficient, but once in 100 million uses the transportee gets turned inside out.
  • d) something more versatile - not only does it transport you within the universe, but also within time, or to alternate realities, or alternate universes...
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After travel is perfected I think the next evolution of travel would be: not to travel (physically).

Surrogates

Why take the time and hassle of transporting your mind and body to an exotic location when you can have a 100% real sensory representation with none of the risk or inconvenience?

Hyper Reality

Why embrace the cold cruel universe with its unbending laws and lethal consequences when you can be god and master of your own fantastic reality with a virtually perfect visual, auditory, and tactile reproduction?

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Virtual Reality

Think of a society like the Matrix. Physical bodies are safely stored or even disposed of after the mind is uploaded into a world that is even better than reality.

You can see the Eiffel Tower just by wanting to go. It's identical in every sense only less tourists, no queues, better hotels and restaurants and no rude waiters. After lunch go for a ski in Switzerland and finally dinner in Hawaii.

You instinctively know where your friends and family are but can meet enough random people that life isn't boring.

The best travel is when you don't actually go anywhere.

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I never thought I would invoke to answer a question like this, but it had to do with Clarke's third law:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from .

Our science nowadays has theories for things such as wormholes and the Alcubierre Drive. I don't think that is the final word on transportation - we couldn't even imagine these options a few decades ago. But until our science advances further, any theoretical forms of transportation that we have not discovered yet and which beat wormholes and the A-drive are, for all practical purposes, pure .

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