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When the Bifrost Bridge transports anything, lots of information gets transferred from one realm to another. So, I can talk about bandwidth.

What's the bandwidth of the Bifrost Bridge. It certainly doesn't look infinite because

  • its radius is finite. Only a finite number of people can stand there. Q: How many people can stand there? Is the radius adjustable?

  • it appears in atmosphere. So, people can't stand on one another up to the moon. Q: Up to what height can it cover? Can the Stark Tower be bifrosted? Is this height adjustable?

  • The Bifrost chamber on Asgard has a finite size. Can this be a problem? Can the size of the Bifrost chamber be increased? Can the Bifrost Bridge transport someone (like Galactus) or something (like Stark Tower, the Earth) outside the chamber?

  • Galactus may not be the best example, as he can change his size. – phantom42 Mar 21 '15 at 13:20
  • @phantom42 Okay. Give me replacement. – Captain Cold Mar 21 '15 at 13:43
  • In the Avengers film, Loki references energy requirements for the Bifrost when identifying Thor's need to bring both Loki and the Tesseract back; the implied seems to be their use of an infinity gem as a power source. That implication indicates a finite limit, even if it's powered by a seemingly limitless power source. – Eric McCormick Mar 21 '15 at 15:15
  • I felt that my answer to this one was pretty convincing. Is there anything else you'd like me to add before considering an acceptance? – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 17:06
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Bandwidth

As far as bandwidth is concerned, I see no special reason to assume that the Bifrost is similar to a star-trek style transporter. There's no obvious evidence that people or things are converted into energy before they arrive at the other end nor that the entrance is any larger than the portal that we see behind Heimdall. Given that the bifrost "pattern" seems to be about the same radius as the portal this would strongly suggest that it's essentially a high speed travel tube.

enter image description here

Radius

The maximum number of people we see transported is around a dozen (during the opening battle sequence in Dark World). It does appear that you can send waves of people into the outgoing wormhole, allowing them to arrive staggered.

This being the case, you couldn't use the Bifrost to transport something larger than the portal or the chamber into which it feeds, any more than you could drive a lorry into a Wendy-house.

  • 1
    @SS: how much bandwidth does my arm have? – Paul D. Waite Mar 21 '15 at 12:51
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    @SS: what information-measurement unit are you asking for then? – Paul D. Waite Mar 21 '15 at 17:55
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    @SS: sure. It looks like you’re asking about physical size — the word “bandwidth” is usually used to talk about data transfer capacity, not physical size capacity. – Paul D. Waite Mar 22 '15 at 0:50
  • 5
    @SS: sure, you’re right. The words you’re using are entirely correct, it’s just everyone else in the world that’s confused about their meaning. – Paul D. Waite Mar 22 '15 at 0:55
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    38.7 Mirepoix / Furlong – Chris B. Behrens Nov 4 '15 at 23:26
1

Start with the Bekenstein Bound: I <= (2 Pi R E) / (h_bar c ln (2)) Substitute mass equivalence, m=c^2/E, and the Schwarzchild Radius, R = 2Gm/c^2 You obtain: I <= 2.577e43 c^2 R^2 / (2 G) Light speed being the fastest information can cross the event horizon gives a time of transmission of R/c, dividing by this results in a bits per second equality of the form B <= 2.577e43 c^3 R / (2G) Using R = 10 we get the bandwidth of the Bifrost: B <= 1.3*10^79 bps In more modern terms, B <= 1.3*10^70 Gbps. Of course, this is the maximum bandwidth any 20 meter diameter space could convey in our universe and the Bifrost could (most likely would be) vastly slower than this upper limit. No, as long as an end point is our universe it can't exceed this limit regardless of the rules of another universe as emergence in our universe would limit useful transmission. In simple terms, it could, at best, transmit a blackhole of radius 10 meters every 20m/299792458m/s.

0

I don't know how you would quantify the bandwidth without knowing dimensions of the bridge, but let's make some basic assumptions from the facts that we know. The Bifrost is a bridge made of light. We have some basis for analyzing bandwidth of light-based communications using fiber optics. Take a look at the wikipedia article mentioning 100 petabit per second speeds on a single fiber optic cable.

Presumably, since the Asgardians have far more advanced technology than humans, 100 petabits represents a starting point that they long ago surpassed, but let's use it as a starting point. How many fiber optic cables could you lay next to each other across the width of the Bifrost? Multiply that number times 100 petabits and then assume that your final number is, again, just a starting point.

That is the kind of bandwidth that would be needed for a task like tansporting a person from point to point. Consider the number of cells in your body, and the number of cells of the organisms that live on/in your body, and you'll see that 100 petabits isn't as much as it sounds like.

As for scale, if we base our calculations on what we know from the movies, I would say the Bifrost is limited in scale by the design of the system and the amount of energy needed to power it. A circle, maybe ~20 meters (or less) across, is the "imprint" it leaves on Earth. Could it be made bigger? Maybe, but based on the size of the portal on Asgard, you could not send a building from Earth to Asgard. It's seems physically designed for use by individuals and small groups.

Can the chamber be increased in size? Who knows. Again, it seems intended by design to move small groups of people across vast distances so the Asgardians can visit other worlds.

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