Say you are in a space ship and enter a worm hole. What happens when you make a 90 degree turn and fly into the inside wall of the worm hole.

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    $\begingroup$ A wormhole is a structure of space-time. To "fly into the side", you would have exist outside of space-time, which makes no sense. Visually, a worm hole would appear as a spherical structure to us, because the "tunnel" attribute is four-dimensional. You can't change your direction 90 degrees into the fourth dimension. $\endgroup$ – Digiproc Nov 16 '19 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ Adding to the existing answer: The entrance to a 'real' wormhole would be a sphere, not a circle, and once you enter, you're through. So there's nothing 'inside' or outside to crash against. $\endgroup$ – AtmosphericPrisonEscape Nov 16 '19 at 14:46
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    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't this be on Worldbuilding? ;) $\endgroup$ – curiousdannii Nov 16 '19 at 22:29

I think you seem to have been bit by a misunderstanding based on the all-too-common popular-science visualization of a wormhole as a sort of "tunnel" using the already-strained "rubber sheet" analogy for curved spacetimes in general relativity - which then becomes even further "reified" in pop cult sci-fi TV shows and movies which show a wormhole as looking like a "tunnel", complete with "walls" you could fly into.

But that's wrong on every level. For one, the rubber sheet analogy is at best a very poor one for reasons covered elsewhere here. For another, though, the "tunnel" in the rubber sheet is not analogous to a physical tunnel: the surface of the sheet is (in the analogy) spacetime itself, within which all physical things exist, and hence the "walls" of the "tunnel" are actually made of spacetime. When you fly through a wormhole, hence, you are actually flying within the "walls"! You cannot fly in the "space" in between because that "space" would be outside the universe - or perhaps more likely, it doesn't exist at all: that's one of those limitations of the sheet analogy that I mentioned. General relativity does not require that the spacetime be embedded in an external environment - rather, it provides a wholly self-contained description thereof through modification of the local laws of geometry nearby each and every point within it and, hence, the laws of geometry applying to the whole as well (if you ever saw or skimmed any of the math, that's what the whole "metric tensor" business is). Such can mimic those that would be found when drawing on such a curved surface immersed in an external environment, but there's no need to posit such and given the theory's description it would be entirely immaterial to us whether there is or is not one.

Instead, were a real wormhole to exist that were stable enough to travel through, what you would see would not be a tunnel with walls, but rather a very interesting lensing phenomenon through which you could see what the destination looked like by looking at its center, and when you flew into it, there'd be some cool optical effects, but they would look nothing at all like what is often shown in these shows.

So what happens when you fly into the side of a wormhole? You travel through the wormhole! You are in the "sides" all the time.


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