An advanced human civilization possesses Portal Engine technology built in to their ships. These portal engines produce traversable wormholes from one end (the ship’s end of the wormhole), and uses advanced mathematics and precise “wormhole shaping” techniques to create the endpoint of the wormhole in a reasonably precise point related to the ship’s destination. I’m struggling to determine how fast my civilization’s ships could travel this way. These wormholes would be on average about 320 yards in diameter at minimum. The travel distance is 60 billion light years without the use of the wormhole. (60 billion because I want the distance to be further than what we can observe with telescopes). Assuming the aforementioned diameter of the wormhole, and the 60 billion light year travel distance without the wormhole, what would the travel distance be through the wormhole? Some additional details:

  • If necessary, the ships can use multiple wormholes to make the journey. So form wormhole, travel through it, create another, travel through it, etc.
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    $\begingroup$ Which science do you expect us to use, beside abracadabra? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Apr 22 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ I'm afraid that there is no known way to calculate the "distance through the wormhole", even if assuming that the phrase has a well-defined meaning. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Apr 22 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ Read How long would it take to travel through a wormhole? from our sister stack, physics, which gives insight into distances as well. Then read the wikipedia entry for wormholes. Then believe with your heart and soul that everything we actually know about wormholes is purely speculative and mathematical, which means that when we finally find and/or create a wormhole, everything we know can be proven wrong. Then explain why you can't pick a number for the purposes of your story and move on. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Apr 22 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ If you take the time to read the tag wikis, you'll learn that the science-based and science-fiction tags are mutually exclusive. You are required to pick one and delete the other. Please do so ASAP. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Apr 22 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ "where do I find tag wikis?" hover on a tag and you'll get the tag excerpt. Click on a tag and you'll also see it on the top of the screen. If you've clicked on a tag, then there would be a link saying "Learn more..." which would lead you to the tag wiki. "And what are tag wikis?" information about a tag. It should include usage guidance but might also include other things like resources about the topic or FAQs or other supporting information relevant to the tag. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Apr 22 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately what you ask involves breaking science as we know it. There is nothing wrong with that for fictional purposes and in the real world all scientific theories are open to correction and update.

But what you can't reasonably expect is to break the laws of physics and then turn around and ask what happens next? Because science doesn't know what happens if the laws of physics are wrong.

You might as well ask where would you be if you could go north of the North Pole? No answer can be expected from spherical geometry because under that circumstance spherical geometry would be clearly wrong.

So you are operating outside of science for fictional purposes. Fine. the world is your oyster you can do what you want. All that I would suggest is that you are consistent (else your readers will smell a rat) and ideally have some broad idea of what restrictions stand in the new physics.

For example perhaps the worm holes physically can't be generated at less than 60 billion light years and perhaps the energy required increases exponentially with their width


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