Of wormholes and candlesticks


Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with the world of physics. In no small part this interest was driven by the idea of time travel and too many episodes of Dr. Who. One of the many ways that traveling back or forward in time has been proposed by physicists is what known as an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. The more common term for such a bridge is a wormhole.

Wikipedia explains wormholes thusly:

“For a simplified notion of a wormhole, space can be visualized as a two-dimensional (2D) surface. In this case, a wormhole would appear as a hole in that surface, lead into a 3D tube (the inside surface of a cylinder), then re-emerge at another location on the 2D surface with a hole similar to the entrance...”

Such a “bridge” would be able to span the vast distances of our universe or even link to parallel universes. I won’t get into the details of how wormholes might allow time travel using relativistic time dilation (you can google that). While these bridges are still highly theoretical, and still controversial amongst some physicists, they provide an interesting description of how our universe might work.

You might wonder why I am rambling on about wormholes and time travel on a blog about blacksmithing. Well, while sketching out ideas for some new candle holders a few years ago, I hit upon the idea of recreating in steel the simplified drawings I had seen of how wormholes work.

I begin with a 3” wide piece of 1/4” flat bar, I heat it up and punch a hole slightly off center. I then re-heat the piece and drive a “drift” through the hole (a drift is a tapered piece of steel, either round or square, which opens up a punched hole to the final dimension). After a third heat I bend the bar back on itself and add my touchmark. After pickling in vinegar to remove the fire scale I re-heat it and apply a wax finish to seal it.

Now if I could just get my sonic screwdriver working...

Photo by Michael Kelch. Copyright: Mark Gilsdorf

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