The problem with wormholes is that the channel
created between two black holes is minuscule, smaller than the center of a single atom, and remains open for only a fraction of a second. Even light, the fastest entity in the universe, would not have enough time to pass through. And no matter how sturdy his spacecraft, our traveler would inevitably be ripped apart by the black hole's immense gravitational forces. Because of these and other problems, the Einstein-Rosen bridge was for many years thought of as a geometric curiosity, a theoretical quirk that could never be of use to even a fictional time traveler. Einstein's equations might allow for wormholes, but the universe certainly did not. All that changed in the 1980s, however, when a physicist at the California Institute of Technology devised a better way to use wormholes as time machines.