I am writing up a system of wormhole-based gates to allow "fast travel" in a far-future setting. My description is an extrapolation of the way I understand a flatlander's experience of the following illustration of an Ellis wormhole:
Right now, there are the following specific questions that I am not sure about whether my interpretation is correct:
- Am I correct that there is a maximum "aperture" width at the throat of the wormhole? And that a ship that was too big yet forced itself through would essentially fill the entire throat up, thereby "looping around" in this non-Euclidean deformed space within the wormhole and bump into ITSELF, crushing itself?
- Am I correct that objects of sufficient hardness (ie. lack of elasticity) would crack/pulverize when forced through a wormhole due to the curvature of the space?
- If so, would they "resist" going into space with increased curvature before they do? As in, would a diamond inside a ship passing through a heavily curved wormhole (seem to) respond to some force that stopped it from moving further without cracking? Ie. the diamond would start moving towards the back of the ship as the curvature of space pushed back against it harder than it did against the softer materials of the ship.
For completeness' sake, here is the full description as I have it planned right now.
A network of gates spans the known parts of the galaxy. These gates come in various sizes, but are consistently ring-shaped. The rings consist of ancient, self-powering, self-repairing technology yet to be understood by modern civilizations. The area circumscribed by the ring holds a spherical field that appears very much like a soap bubble, with various colorful distortions slowly drifting and mingling. However, unlike a soap bubble, one cannot see through this field; instead the opaque bubble acts as a mirror, showing a reflection of the surrounding space.
What we know of them is that they come in pairs (the matching gate is always of identical size) and function like wormholes. The space between gates features high levels of geometric distortion, but is otherwise safe to traverse without any special equipment.
Because of this geometric distortion, there is a maximum to the size of the ships that can use a gate (which is smaller than the size of the gate sphere). Think of the gates as entrances to tunnels, with the width of the tunnel at the narrowest part being the limiting factor. Of course, within this distorted space there are no walls as such, the tunnel walls simply represent where space starts looping around on itself, and a ship that is too big risks bumping into or even crushing itself.
The geometric curvature of the space between the gates has been and still is an important field of study to ensure the safety of inter-gate travel. Conventional spaceships and most lifeforms are usually not in any danger using a gate, but materials with very high hardness (diamonds and harder) have spontaneously pulverized when transported through gates with relatively high curvature.
As a general rule, the minimum size of a gate is defined by the minimum width of the tunnel and the maximum amount of curvature; the bigger a gate is, the wider the tunnel can be at the same maximum curvature, or conversely, the bigger a gate is, the lower the curvature can be when not changing the tunnel aperture.
The bubbles are theorized to modulate the size and curvature of, and hold stable the wormholes connecting them. Perhaps the civilization that created these gates had ways of changing these parameters of existing gates, but as far as is currently known, gates are static in curvature and aperture width. Inactive and broken gates have been found, some of which had tiny regular wormholes - lacking the distinctive bubble - at their centre.