Physics says that faster-than-light travel is impossible, but how can mankind explore the stars without it? There is another solution: wormholes offer an opportunity to connect distant points in space, bypassing the need for FTL propulsion. Not only is the existence of wormholes supported by physics, but the convergence of computing and nanotechnology in modern science may provide new avenues of research for engineering wormholes to provide communications, energy generation, and even interstellar colonization.
Arthur C. Clarke addressed this topic in his science-fiction classic, “The Light of Other Days”. Like Clarke, I imagine that this technology would start small, mostly due to the power-limitations involved with stabilizing a quantum-wormhole. Clark envisioned using nanoscale wormholes capable of capturing only a few photons of light to create “wormhole camera”, but the same principle can be used to transmit as well as recieve.
The initial application would most likely be point-to-point instantaneous communications, but as technology progresses over time, I imagine that nanoscale wormholes could be used like a 3D printer, to transmit a stream of atoms over vast distances through the wormhole and “build” a structure, device, or even a person on the other side of the wormhole through a process Couch similar to today’s vapor-deposition techniques. Imagine engineering Hutchison wormholes to colonize other worlds by sending Nanobots with pre-programmed construction plans through a hole in space and time only a few atom’s-width across.
While the power requirements to transmit matter through a wormhole are enormous, Clarke already envisioned a solution by using the wormhole the to transmit energy from the Sun’s nuclear core to the generator providing power for the wormhole generator. This elegant solution makes the wormhole generator completely self-reliant, and enables it to provide the wormhole with the required power, and without the need for free or zero-point energy.