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SimonMac
22nd December 2014, 11:00
No known species of reindeer can fly. However, there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of species of living organisms yet to be classified. While most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. Since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish & Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with. This is due to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits/second.

This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 seconds to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once ever 31 hours, plus feeding etc.

So Santa's sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on the earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second. A conventional reindeer can run, TOPS, 15 miles/hour.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-size Lego set (2 lb.); the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 lbs. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see above) could pull 10 TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with 8, or even 9 reindeer. We need 214,200. This increases the payload - not counting the weight of the sleigh to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen Elizabeth!!!

353,00 tons traveling at 650 miles/second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy!!! Per second!!! Each!!! In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within .00426th of a second. Meanwhile, Santa will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity, A 250 lb Santa (seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of this sleigh by 4,315,015 lbs. of force.

Therefore, if Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve ... he's dead now.

Merry Christmas!

IFLScience (http://www.iflscience.com/)

quackhandle
22nd December 2014, 11:35
Father Christmas not Santa. So think on. :wink

qh

original PM
22nd December 2014, 12:12
However from a Quantum perspective

Viewing Santa as a waveform removes the apparent
paradox of his "presence" being measured in several
locations within a short interval of time.
As a wave form the distance of 75.5 million miles will
be covered in 7 minutes.

As the waveform collapses down in a specific location
(attracted by the Goodness Quantum number of the
recumbent child) it becomes perfectly valid to state that a
"visitation" has occurred

But the process of measurement (for example,
turning on the bedroom light) will almost certainly
lead to a localised, space-time instability which, in
turn, will cause the waveform to relax and render
detection almost impossible.

original PM
22nd December 2014, 12:13
and also

Yet another predication which agrees with commonly reported
observations concerns the Christmas Stocking effect.
Within the general theory, the stocking would be expected to
act as an infinite potential well, momentarily capturing the
Santa waveform. The resonance within the stocking is
predicted to deposit the presents.
However in doing so energy from any batteries within the well will be
lost (causing them to run out by Boxing Day)

MarillionFan
22nd December 2014, 12:18
I explain to my kids that distribution theory allows Santa to explode into a million Santas and Rudolph's by passing through magic rainbows thus allowing him to visit all of the houses and children instantly and being able to spend 10-15 minutes.

They understood that. Not stupid my kids.

SimonMac
22nd December 2014, 17:00
I explain to my kids that distribution theory allows Santa to explode into a million Santas and Rudolph's by passing through magic rainbows thus allowing him to visit all of the houses and children instantly and being able to spend 10-15 minutes.

They understood that. Not my kids.

FTFY

Bunk
22nd December 2014, 17:06
I explain to my kids that distribution theory allows Santa to explode into a million Santas and Rudolph's by passing through magic rainbows thus allowing him to visit all of the houses and children instantly and being able to spend 10-15 minutes.

They understood that. Not stupid my kids.

Do they understand why your shed is still full of all those sledge that you can't shift? Or why it hasn't snowed since you bought them?

stek
22nd December 2014, 17:08
Santa is a cheat, conveniently forgetting to mention that not every Christmas day is the 25th, Orthodox is 7th Jan, Spain is 6th I think and don't Germans traditionally open presents on 24th December?

BrilloPad
22nd December 2014, 17:18
I am cheesed off at Santa. At Asda in Llandudno he finished his Grotto on Saturday.

He ain't getting a mince pie of glass of Port on Wednesday night. Rudolph will still get his carrot.

VectraMan
22nd December 2014, 17:19
The Dutch do it on the 5th I think. And the French have Pere Frochard who hands out coal and beatings to children who haven't been good.

stek
22nd December 2014, 17:24
The Dutch do it on the 5th I think. And the French have Pere Frochard who hands out coal and beatings to children who haven't been good.

Russians have Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) aka Krasniy Nos' (Red Nose) but he has a Granddaughter, Snegurochka thereby implying Santa had a wife. Rumour has it that Putin had her bumped off using some spare Polonium.