I have just watched a trailer for the upcoming movie Interstellar and started to wonder about some physics involved. In the end of the trailer, they are obviously plunging into a Black hole hoping to travel into a different universe. Let us for a moment forget about the fact that most Black holes just probably are not worm-holes.
But a large problem is, how do they get there since the closest Black holes such as Sagittarius A* are several thousand light-years away? The Black hole at Sgr A* is surely massive enough for tidal forces not to pose a larger problem for the starship.
My first guess of transport would be a warp drive, since in the trailer there is a ring around the starship resembling the one usually included in warp drive designs (see the NASA concept below). But for a warp drive we need exotic matter and how much exotic matter would we need to get through 26 000 light-years in few tens of Earth years (using also hibernation of the pilots)? Is there possibly enough exotic matter in the Solar system for such a transport? Or is there something I am missing such as a very large Black hole nearby (i.e. large enough for tidal forces not to rip the spaceship apart)?
EDIT: Luboš Motl pointed rightly out that Sgr A* isn't the closest black hole, this doesn't change the argument that the closest known black holes are still too far away. I also edited some of the wording - even primordial black holes would not be good wormholes, only exotic matter allows them to be traversable. (Thanks again to Luboš for the point.)
Everybody seems to be very perplexed by the concept of exotic matter. Yes, it is a highly speculative idea which might not have any physical significance, thus eliminating the possibility of both wormholes and warp drive. But, it is not completely ruled out. We could e.g. speculate that the negative energy density is actually an underdensity of dark energy. Etc. etc. Either way, both traversable wormholes and warp drives are serious lines of (speculative) research not so different in empirical substantiality from e.g. all quantum gravity theories including the very much stressed string theory, so let us consider them at least for a while.