The Ring network, alternately known as the Gate network, Gateway network, or the wormhole network, or simply collectively referred to as the gates, is an ancient complex system of 1,373 artificially sustained traversable wormholes that connect star systems across the Milky Way galaxy. Credited with its creation, the Ring Builders used this enormous network to expand beyond their home star system and, eventually, establish a thriving interstellar empire around 2,000,000,000 BCE, dominating the Milky Way. The network managed to survive even after the Ring Builder empire's dissolution.
The Ring network represents the pinnacle of transportation technology, rendering feasible effective superluminal travel and the subsequent galactic colonization.
Rings are represented by a torus shape, with twisting ridges that continuously spiral around its body, possibly to prevent the wormhole from ever collapsing. Their inner diameter is roughly one thousand kilometers. The Rings themselves seem to be constructed from a highly resilient material that does not erode over the course of millions, even billions, of years. Evidently, the Ring causes spatiotemporal disturbances, anticipating the wormhole from far away. This distortion can be observed when electromagnetic radiation enters and exits the wormhole. It is unknown whether there are discrepancies between local observers and actual passengers aboard a ship regarding transit times, though this possibility is mostly excluded.
An object traveling through a Ring treats the wormhole as a higher-spatial corridor between the linked points, effectively reducing transit times to near-zero values, though time does elapse. Sensor data, including visible light, behave accordingly, treating Rings as windows between two points, without being atomically harmed in any way.
The Rings each lead to a location possibly in intergalactic space, colloquially known as the Slow Zone. At the center of the region, the Ring station is located, the central control station of the network. From there, the Rings themselves can be deactivated and voluntarily cease their respective wormholes. However, the structures themselves remain intact. A subsequent reactivation is possible, as evidenced by James Holden and the Investigator.
Human speculation Edit
Einstein's Theory of Relativity was the first true step that humanity took towards truly comprehending the universe. It postulated that gravity was a consequence of spacetime curvature. This approach remained unchallenged until the effects of quantum gravity were recorded. Theoretical physicists speculated that reconciling quantum laws with general relativity would give humanity a complete understanding of gravity and its associated consequences and, thus, control over it. Such a control was then said to result in the ability of circumventing the lightspeed barrier through the use of shortcuts in spacetime, otherwise known as wormholes. However, while progress might have been made, a complete reconciliation of gravity was still not achievable by the 24th century.
After completing its life cycle on Venus after accumulating enough bio-mass, the protomolecule built a megastructure on the outskirts of the Sol system, which was later revealed to be an artificially-sustained wormhole gate leading to a starless region of space.
Known Rings Edit
The Sol Ring is the initial Ring discovered by humanity, and the only one to be referred simply as "the Ring". It is located two astronomical units outside the orbit of Uranus. It is the product of a complex of self-assembling structures that emerged from Venus after the protomolecule seeded the planet via Eros.
The Ilus Ring was one of the first extrasolar gates accessed by humanity. It was first traveled through by refugees which had escaped the conflict over Ganymede. Not unlike the Ring in Sol, its Ilus counterpart is located on the outskirts of the system, but an asteroid belt is known to orbit Ilus' star ever further out than the gate.
Notes and trivia Edit
- In the novels, the Ring network made its first appearance in Abaddon's Gate. In the TV series, the gates will appear for the first time in the third season.