- Did physicists create a wormhole in a lab? No.
- Did physicists create a baby wormhole in a lab? No.
- Did physicists manage to study quantum gravity in a lab? No.
- Did physicists simulate a wormhole in a lab? No.
- Did physicists make a baby step toward simulating a wormhole in a lab? No.
- Did physicists make a itty-bitty baby step toward simulating an analogue of a wormhole — a “toy model” of a wormhole — in a lab? Maybe.
Don’t get me wrong. What they did is pretty cool! I’d be pretty proud of it, too, had I been involved. Congratulations to the authors of this paper; the methods and the results are novel and thought-provoking.
But the hype in the press? Wildly, spectacularly overblown!
I’ll try, if I have time next week, to explain what they actually did; it’s really quite intricate and complicated to explain all the steps, so it may take a while. But at best, what they did is analogous to trying to learn about the origin of life through some nifty computer simulations of simple biochemistry, or to learning about the fundamental origin of consciousness by running a new type of neural network. It’s not the real thing; it’s not even close to the real thing; it’s barely even a simulation of something-not-close-to-the-real-thing.
Could this method lead to a simulation of a real wormhole someday? Maybe in the distant future. Could it lead to making a real wormhole? Never.
I find it hard to understand why physicists sometimes think it is a good idea to claim more than what they’ve actually done. I don’t know anyone who has ever really benefited from that.