In this setting humans can generate artificial wormholes, the technology requires colossal quantities of energy so the process is not something that can be done easily. The system makes it so that wormholes can be only opened inside the magnetosphere of a planet, but the wormholes open at random locations unless there is infrastructure in place to guide the opening.

Humans can travel trough the wormholes easily enough, but the event horizon scrambles electromagnetic radiation, preventing light or radio from going through.

How could someone probe through it?

EDIT: It needs to be able to to check the atmosphere, detect radiation, possible pathogens, and other local dangers.

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    $\begingroup$ Camera on the end of a long stick? $\endgroup$ – user535733 May 24 '17 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Are you saying the near end is opened at random too? Otherwise, I don’t see the problem. Just look through it. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 24 '17 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ Putting your head trough it could put you in a toxic atmosphere, or you could have a portal buried in stone. $\endgroup$ – Sasha May 24 '17 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Sasha you said the portal will only be opened in magnetosphere. How come it can open within a stone? $\endgroup$ – Vylix May 25 '17 at 6:24

Use a GoPro on a stick. Or build a fancy MALP and charge it to the project.

In this age, everyone has a camera handy. If the issue arose spontaneously, someone could use a “selfie stick” or improvise a handle for a phone used as a probe.

For an intentional effort well planned, obtain a ruggedized and shielded camera, and even rig control lines that pass through the wormhole without losing the signal: acoustic signals for low res images (off the shelf!), and mechanical control lines like for bicycle levers. Ideally, a superconductive shield can make a cable that passes through, so some very expensive co-ax will give you full high-definition feed. Otherwise, view low-res images live using other non-electrical (or just very noisy) means, and retrieve the camera to view the HD recordings.

As for figuring out whether it’s safe and what to wear, take a page from the spaceprobe book. We have spectrometers and fancy sensors, even something approaching the StarTrek tricorder now, on Mars.

Now you don’t want to drop your million-dollar gadget on Venus, to use a real-world example. So start with the selfie stick! A cheap mobile device platform has camera, thermometer, barometer, magnetometer, etc. If you pull the stick back and the device has been melted, you’re only out $40. Include some passive samples of materials; perhaps in the form of a case, and you’ll see if there’s acid or something that would bother your expensive instruments. Based on that result, design a protective enclosure to suit the environment.

Actually, use two cameras, on both tests. Have a simple, durable mobile camera lens built into the stick, about half way back so it doesn’t come very far from the portal, and it’s streamlined with the stick and doesn’t look like a separate box. That way if the stick comes back without the probe, you can see what took it via the backup camera. Used with the main (expensive) probe, this serves as a nav-cam for monitoring how the probe is positioned and if anything is around it.

  • $\begingroup$ That only works if no creature on the other side takes your camera. You wouldn't know what's on the other side in that case and you couldn't check for example the air. I think this is too simple for a real check if something would be safe for a human being. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus May 24 '17 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Sasha Expand and clarify your question. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 24 '17 at 23:09

In theoretical physics the (unproven and very abstract) concept of wormholes has no relationship with the common sci-fi wormhole. Theoretical wormholes (not widely accepted in physics) will have an event horizon that effectively randomizes everything passing through it. There is no form of energy that would survive such a trip even if wormholes existed.

Humans can travel through the wormholes easily enough, but the event horizon scrambles electromagnetic radiation, preventing light or radio from going through.

Anything that scrambles EM will scramble a human body.

Your body is kept in one piece by EM forces and these would also be disrupted by anything that affects EM radiation - the force and the radiation are carried by the same type of particle - a photon.

So this idea does not work at all.

It's extremely unscientific to think that a human body (or living matter) has some property that allows it to travel through wormholes or time when inanimate matter cannot. It's all made of the same stuff. If a human gets through unharmed, a brick will. And the brick has a less complex system with fewer subsystems to be adversely affected by side effects (e.g. if a brick's temperature is raised by 100 degrees it hardly matters - it's a warm brick - but a human would have an issue with that).

So if a human gets through OK, then so should anything else. The human is the most fragile thing you could send.

How could someone probe through it?

Again a probe would be kept in one piece by EM forces, and they're going to get scrambled. No probe gets through if you follow the physics.

If you keep your "magic" wormhole that lets humans through but ruins EM radiation, then you can force a probe to make it fine, because anything a human can do, a probe can do better (in this case) (although a brick can do it best of all ! :-)).

And all this means that if you're using StarGate rules then your best probe type is a brick with a long string tied around it (you hang onto one end of the string, of course) with a note (in English) explaining that they can tug once on the string if they're hostile or twice if they're friendly and that you're sorry if you broke anything important with your brick and that the brick comes in friendship (unless they're hostile in which case we've more bricks where this one came from). :-)

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    $\begingroup$ A box of tissues might be a better choice than a brick. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 25 '17 at 0:17
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    $\begingroup$ @JDiugosz : We don't want these aliens chappies thinking we're weaklings. We could wrap the brick in tissue paper if you like. But we're going to follow the brick with a group of heavily armed military types as an opening "diplomatic" move, so let's start out the way we intend to continue - with a brick ! And the token linguist only has to speak English but is also armed to the teeth. $\endgroup$ – StephenG May 25 '17 at 0:33
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    $\begingroup$ Having thought about this some more I realize that any self respecting mad scientist is going to throw his assistant (tied with a long rope, keep one end as usual) through the wormhole and see what shape they're in when they get back. With luck the more or less still human can give a detailed account of the horrors on the other side and at worst a detailed autopsy will reveal much valuable information when we pull the body back. Everybody wins and we didn't waste any bricks, and lab assistants are a dime a dozen. $\endgroup$ – StephenG May 26 '17 at 0:03

Knowing what you're looking for makes the task of probing the wormhole straightforward.

How could someone probe through it?

The probe "needs to be able to to check the atmosphere, detect radiation, possible pathogens, and other local dangers."

Build a mechanical arm equipped with devices like closable tubes to sample the atmosphere, have sticky patches to collect pathogens, radiation badges similar to those used for personnel working with nuclear technology, and, of course, an old-fashioned photochemical camera to take pictures of what is on the other side. The camera is photochemical, just in case digital cameras' imagery is scrambled by EM jamming inside the wormhole.

If the wormhole has emerged inside stone, it won't be possible to enter the wormhole. if it is underwater, then water will flow through the wormhole.

Remember wormholes can traversed in both directions. Atmospheric gases from the point of arrival will flow through to the Earth side and it can be sampled and tested. Hostile entities might arrive at the Earth end. An irate alien wielding a shot gun will be a clear indication of hostile lifeforms at your destination.

One aspect is if your wormholes can only be opened in the magnetospheres of planets the destination, presumably, must be a planet with a magnetosphere. This will maximize the probability of the planet having a viable biosphere. The solar winds won't have a chance to rip off the planet's atmosphere.

It does transpire that good old-fashioned and off-the-shelf technology can be used to probe what is on the other side of the wormhole. All that is required is a good workshop to assemble the probe and send it through.


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