Valeri P. Frolov and Andrei Zelnikov from the University of Alberta, along with Pavel Krtouš from Charles University in Prague, have delved into the realm of physics in a manner akin to lawyers examining the intricacies of legislation. Although they may not be able to help you avoid a traffic fine, they may have discovered an intriguing possibility within the laws of physics: the potential to travel back in time and rectify past mistakes, such as speeding through a school zone.

Wormholes, shortcuts through spacetime, are not recognized as established features of the universe. However, scientists have pondered for nearly a century whether the fabric of spacetime, as dictated by the principles of relativity, permits quantum disturbances or even entire particles to transcend their local constraints.

In the most extraordinary scenarios, these manipulations of the universe's structure could enable objects with human-like mass to traverse vast distances in an instant, crossing galaxies or moving through time as effortlessly as one would navigate their own kitchen.

At the very least, these explorations of spacetime's more exotic behavior contribute to speculations regarding the enigmatic intersection of quantum physics and the general theory of relativity.

In essence, wormholes can be envisioned as shapes. In our everyday lives, we are accustomed to dealing with one-dimensional lines, two-dimensional drawings, and three-dimensional objects. Some of these objects can be intuitively manipulated, folded, molded, or punctured.

However, physics allows us to investigate changes in scenarios that lie beyond our intuitive reach. On the smallest scales, quantum effects introduce flexibility into the measurements of distances and time.

On much grander scales, spacetime can contract or expand in response to gravitational forces, which is impossible to comprehend without resorting to numerous equations. For instance, if we concentrate enough mass in a specific region (neglecting its charge or rotation), spacetime will curve in such a way that it possesses two external surfaces. And what bridges these surfaces? A wormhole, naturally.

Nevertheless, matter would be unable to traverse this mathematical construct, although some conjecture that entangled objects on either side would remain connected.

Throughout the decades, scientists have pursued both possible and purely theoretical scenarios that could facilitate the unobstructed journey of quantum effects or even entire particles through the exotic structures of spacetime.

Frolov, Krtouš, and Zelnikov's proposal for manipulating time involves a specific type of wormhole known as a ring wormhole, initially described by theoretical physicist Gary Gibbons from the University of Cambridge and physicist Mikhail Volkov from the University of Tours in 2016.

Diverging from the spherical contortions associated with black holes, the ring wormhole suggested by Gibbons and Volkov connects patches of the Universe (or even different universes) that exhibit a flat geometry.

By considering interactions between electrical and magnetic fields, specifically duality rotations, and applying selected transformations, masses shaped like rings can induce fascinating distortions in an otherwise flat spacetime.

And there you have it! A hole in the Universe that establishes a connection to a location far removed from our immediate vicinity.

Frolov, Krtouš, and Zelnikov explored various scenarios involving this wormhole. They investigated the influence of an additional, stationary mass on the ring and examined the implications of having both the entry ring and the exit ring within the same universe.

Their findings included the existence of what is known as a closed timelike curve—a phenomenon wherein an object or a ray of light traces a trajectory that ultimately returns to its initial starting point, not only in space but also in time.

However, before you prepare for a paradoxical journey to the future and back, it is important to note that numerous obstacles could hinder such a loop. The late physicist Stephen Hawking was skeptical about its feasibility.

But who knows? With the right cosmic advocate, it might just be possible to contest our fate of embarking on a one-way trip into the future, aided by a pair of massive rings.

The research conducted by Frolov, Krtouš, and Zelnikov is available on the preprint server arXiv and is slated for publication in Physical Review D.