Thoughts on Building a Wormhole with ESK8 Components?

I’ve mentioned this idea previously in the weird theories thread, but I started a new thread because I wanted to get some help fleshing out the concept a bit more to determine whether this could or would ever actually be build and used for transportation of goods and passengers in the future… the general idea of the thread is if you have any ideas, concepts or renderings that contribute to the development effort, to share them here.

I became personally interested in the vehicle concept once I realized it has the potential to be both the fastest method to travel between different points on the globe while at the same time producing an excess of usable forms of energy, which is, as far as I know, unheard of with any other type of vehicle.

The fuels utilized by the vehicle to sustainably produce thrust are gravitational potential energy, geothermal and solar, and in addition to moving the vehicle excess electrical energy can be produced.

(Copied From Physics Forum Discussion - Source

Suppose we have a 10^5 kg passenger vehicle with a 20 kg trailer containing 200 kg of water, perched at the top of a vertical 30 second drop in a vacuum (2.5 mile vertical tunnel), with a curved section of track at the bottom leading to a flat section that leads to the destination where there is a second curved section leading to a second vertical section, and capacitors in the track store sufficient electrical energy to produce a 9.54 MJ mechanical impulse between the passenger vehicle and the trailer…

At the bottom of the ramp, the passenger vehicle exerts a mechanical impulse equivalent to 9.54 MJ, pushing off the 294 m/s trailer instead of the ground, which brings the trailer to a halt on the tracks…

^Assuming the passenger vehicle is using maglev in vacuum, and therefore does no work while coasting, the passenger vehicle is traveling 294 m/s in a straight line at the bottom of the ramp after the mechanical impulse.

Assuming regen braking of the passenger vehicle at its destination (after climbing a second vertical ramp to the surface) results in 70% kinetic to kinetic conversion efficiency, and that only the empty trailer is lifted, a factor of 130% as much usable energy is recovered from the vehicle after it climbs to the surface than was exerted in the mechanical impulse at the bottom of the ramp, a net surplus if the geothermal energy required to evaporate this water is ignored.

The surplus comes from the lowered gravitational potential energy of the 200 kg water at the bottom of the tunnel.

If the full trailer is lifted with the regen braking energy instead of geothermal, then only 40 % of the mechanical impulse energy is recoverable.

If the full trailer is lifted from the recovered regen braking energy, then a total of 5.71 M J energy was “unrecoverably” consumed accelerating and decelerating the 10^5 kg vehicle to 294 m/s.

If the 200 kg water is left at the bottom of the tunnel and allowed to evaporate naturally, then an “excess” of 2.88 MJ energy above and beyond the total mechanical impulse energy is obtained from regen braking the vehicle at 70 % conversion efficiency at the destination, even after some of the recovered energy is used to lift the empty trailer.

The kinetic energy of the passenger vehicle after the mechanical impulse at the bottom of the ramp is a factor of 760x greater than the total energy “unrecoverably” consumed after lifting the full (not empty) trailer all the way back to the surface, using the recovered kinetic energy via the regen braking after the journey.

Here is a calculator for calculating the vehicle parameters:

which is based on:

" In astronautics, the Oberth effect is where the use of a rocket engine when travelling at high speed generates much more useful energy than one at low speed. Oberth effect occurs because the propellant has more usable energy (due to its kinetic energy on top of its chemical potential energy) and it turns out that the vehicle is able to employ this kinetic energy to generate more mechanical power. It is named after Hermann Oberth, the Austro-Hungarian-born, German physicist and a founder of modern rocketry, who apparently first described the effect.[1]

*Oberth effect is used in a powered flyby or Oberth maneuver where the application of an impulse, typically from the use of a rocket engine, close to a gravitational body (where the gravity potential is low, and the speed is high) can give much more change in kinetic energy and final speed (i.e. higher specific energy) than the same impulse applied further from the body for the same initial orbit. *

Since the Oberth maneuver happens in a very limited time (while still at low altitude), to generate a high impulse the engine necessarily needs to achieve high thrust (impulse is by definition the time multiplied by thrust). Thus the Oberth effect is far less useful for low-thrust engines, such as ion thrusters.

Historically, a lack of understanding of this effect led investigators to conclude that interplanetary travel would require completely impractical amounts of propellant, as without it, enormous amounts of energy are needed.[1]"

So does anyone think it will ever be built? Does anyone have any ideas about ways to improve the system? Is anyone able to make any 3D renderings of a potential vehicle design?

Edit: I forgot to add,“wormhole” comes from W.ater O.berth R.amp M.over and the tunnel is the “hole.”

Oberth is a reference to an “Oberth Maneuver”


Dude, let me buy a 1/4. Must be good shit.


How much LSD is too much LSD?


I got about half way through but so far feeling is there is no such thing as a free lunch in physics there is no over unity or perpetual motion machines everything requires energy input and all things have inefficiencies/losses a few places mention if we assume a perfect vacuum all of a sudden or other things that just aren’t possible and will throw a wrench into any calculations.



about 150 tabs or was that a rhetorical question


see oberth maneuver:

it takes geothermal and solar energy to evaporate the water the vehicle empties from the trailer at the bottom of the tunnel… fortunately rocks at 2.5 mile depth are often 150f and there is plenty of space down there for shallow, high surface area pools to hasten the natural evaporation…

Alright I’m no orbital mechanics expert but I’ve played a few hundred hours of KSP in my day :smiley: I don’t think the oberth effect works with ground vehicles since it depends on conservation of momentum when expelling a fuel out the back of the rocket as a means to accelerate it forward from what I can gather between reddit youtube and stackexchange posts trying to explain why it happens:

Could be I’m just super daft and missing what you’re saying or that it just won’t work, the best way to know is just build yourself a small scale version of the idea and see if it works out in reality, if you can’t actually get the heating you need from geothermal use peltier heater and just leave that energy out of the math. Creating a vacuum of any substantial size will be a massive challenge (thunderfoot has made quite a few vids digging at the “hyperloop” idea in part because of this but we’ll just have to see how things play out with that one).

That is exactly right. The “fuel” being expelled is the entire trailer filled with water… the passenger section “pushes off” the trailer instead of the ground with a mechanical impulse, which can be derived from an electric motor accelerating the passenger section down a lightweight moving track which is comoving with the trailer.

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So we should build our roads and trains more like rollercoasters?


I’d say yes, if you want to sustainably generate electricity while traveling faster than any current land vehicle and potentially faster than any aircraft.


Wouldn’t longer roads take more materials to create and maintain? Total energy transfer may not depend on distance traveled vs height but other factors do.

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Surface roads wouldn’t be an option because most if not all of the kinetic energy of the passenger section is derived from lowering the gravitational potential energy of the water in the trailer. This necessitates using underground tunnels, and due to the potential speeds involved, would likely require at least pseudo magnetic levitation and near to total vacuum.

Ok so wouldn’t longer underground tunnels take a lot more effort to clear and maintain? Not to mention failure scenario, how hard it would be to repair a collapsed tunnel due to an earthquake vs a surface road.

I understand maglev. In that case, are we just assuming perfect conditions all around?

Not to mention what the forces of going at those speeds up and down would do to the passenger stomachs

Right, to obtain a net surplus of energy, the energy required to dig the tunnel would need to be recouped via efficiency of the system over time, and the geothermal and solar energy required to evaporate the water from underground would also have to be ignored. One needs to look no further than a hydroelectric dam to find a precedence of this solar energy input requirement being effectively ignored.

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The vertical ramp is used to simplify the maths, but a 45 degree ramp on the descent and gradual slope on the ascent would in all likelihood be equally if not potentially more effective, though I have not evaluated that scenario fully.

Consider the structural integrity of this poor vehicle traveling vertically down in a vacuum. Hitting a 90 degree turn ramp. I guess it depends on how big of a ramp it is. If you want to conserve energy from the turn, then you want high angular acceleration to reduce the cost of actually friction. You say assume it is a maglev train, then the net energy of keeping this vehicle afloat during this turn without it scraping is so fucking huge, it would be like a electric burst like that of a the rail gun.

I was thinking something like this but beefed up a bit:

@Winfly …but in all seriousness it still works if the tunnel is shaped like a skate ramp with a flat section in the middle… the vertical tunnel is necessary to simplify the math only.

I don’t think this will ever make sense for regular people to travel in but for certain scenarios where moving heavy things back and forth where we currently use rail systems (say in a quarry or mine) then I could see trying to improve things but again if it can’t be proven small scale I don’t see how it can be done large scale.