What would for an observer be the mass of an isolated Wormhole (meaning that there is no gas and no mass of stars arround it) if the wormhole mouth oposite to the observer reflects the light of a region from the galaxy it opens into.

Wormholes per definition require negative energy in the form of exotic matter as to have their mouths open. Would this negative mass be the only mass of the wormhole object or for an observer in the assolated wormhole also include the light reflected of stars and gass visible through the wormhole of another galaxy.

Wormholes connect two systems for only a short time, and collapse when too much time has passed, or too much mass has passed through them. My question would be for wormholes that can have their mouths conected either naturally or artificially for reasonable length of time.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a qood question, initially I would have believed that it would take the apparent mass based on distance from and size of mass on the opposite side of the wormhole. This would be similar to how much light gets through a hole on a piece of paper. However the negative energy piece I have not thought of. I know this doesn't help. I just really like the question. $\endgroup$ – Joe Jan 30 '15 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ Some papers, and this suggest that the dacay mode of the energy through a gravitational wave might be influenced from the local geometry(metric). The object might be a star, black hole, wormhole, ...etc even not having a spherical symmetry. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Mike Jan 17 '16 at 23:27

I found a post here on physicsforums.com which has some useful links in the post by "pervect". One is to this article by physicist John Cramer, saying that each time a mass M passes through a wormhole mouth, "the entrance mouth has its mass increased by M, and the exit mouth has its mass reduced by an amount -M", and that this can eventually cause one of the mouths to have a net negative mass. Presumably light passing through a wormhole could have the same effect, based on mass-energy equivalence in general relativity. Pervect notes that in this context the "mass" being discussed is the ADM mass, and links to this post discussing the technical details of calculating the ADM mass of wormhole mouths, as well as some issues relating to quantum uncertainty in mass--I don't know enough general relativity to follow the technical details here, but the author seems to say that the mass of a mouth cannot actually become negative, perhaps for reasons relating to the "quantum inequalities" postulated to restrict negative energy that are discussed in this article. (maybe when John Cramer talked about the mass becoming negative he was giving the answer in "pure" general relativity without considering quantum physics?) Hopefully someone else who understands these topics better will weigh in, but I thought these links would be useful as pointers to research that would likely be relevant to answering your question.

  • $\begingroup$ As per your answer the mass will be related to the matter within the tube of the wormhole and the difference of the mass located in the mouths of both ends one negative and another positive as you sugested. So I guess the lenght of the tube is then important as well as the length of time it remains open $\endgroup$ – Barnaby Jan 31 '15 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Barnaby - I don't know if it's correct that the mass has anything to do with matter inside the tube, after all a black hole is a "vacuum solution" but it does have mass, similarly with gravitational waves--in general relativity a region of curved spacetime can have mass even if there is no matter field present. A traversable wormhole does require at least a thin layer of negative mass/energy to hold it open, but it may be that this does not account for its mass. $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Jan 31 '15 at 4:03

A wormhole is a theoretical construct, with no empirical evidence of reality. It can have any mass you want.

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    $\begingroup$ This is amongst the more spectacularly unhelpful answers I've seen. There is nothing wrong with doing a thought experiment about a wormhole. The maths all works fine. The thought experiment may not prove to be of any use, but it's worth it if only to hone one's GR skills. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jan 30 '15 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ The thing is though, he is correct even if it is unhelpful. I can very easily make a metric that connects two spatially separated points and then ask what kinds of energy densities are necessary to create the metric. Depending on the choice of metric, you can get wildly different answers. You are probably more interested in "realistic" wormholes though, which would have to obey very stringent quantum inequalities as mentioned above. $\endgroup$ – Graham Reid Dec 16 '15 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ I put realistic in quotes because I am pretty sure that if you do the math you find that for a 100 meter worm hole you would need something like the mass of several universes confined within a shell a few tenths of plank lengths wide (this is the case for an Alcubierre drive anyway), and this is the exact opposite of realistic. $\endgroup$ – Graham Reid Dec 16 '15 at 5:59

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