Global properties of vacuum static, spherically symmetric configurations are studied in a general class of scalar-tensor theories (STTs) of gravity in various dimensions. The conformal mapping between the Jordan and Einstein frames is used as a tool. Necessary and sufficient conditions are found for the existence of solutions admitting a conformal continuation (CC). The latter means that a singularity in the Einstein-frame manifold maps to a regular surface trans
in the Jordan frame, and the solution is then continued beyond this surface. trans
can be an ordinary regular sphere or a horizon. In the second case, trans
connect two epochs of a Kantowski-Sachs type cosmology. It is shown that the list of possible types of global causal structure of vacuum space–times in any STT, with any potential function U(ϕ),
is the same as in general relativity with a cosmological constant. This is even true for conformally continued solutions. A traversable wormhole is shown to be one of the generic structures created as a result of CC. Two explicit examples are presented: the known solution for a conformal field in general relativity, illustrating the emergence of singularities and wormholes due to CC, and a nonsingular three-dimensional model with an infinite sequence of CCs.© 2002 American Institute of Physics.