Santa: A Claus-et physicist

Dec 28, 2010 By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
Santa in Sleigh

All Santa skeptics, please take a look at the North Carolina State University website.

Several professors in the school's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering recently asked their students to explore the aerodynamic and thermodynamic challenges of delivering gifts to millions of children worldwide in a single night from an airborne sleigh.

The results, posted at web.ncsu.edu/abstract/tag/science-of-santa, posit that is a brilliant engineer and physicist.

One of the professors, Dr. Larry Silverberg, said the students concluded that Santa has expanded Einstein's theory of relativity to take advantage of "relativity clouds" that stretch time and bend the universe. "Relativity clouds are controllable domains - rips in time - that allow him months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth," he said.

The site reports that his sleigh must be an advanced aerodynamic design made of honeycombed titanium alloy, capable of altered shape in flight and yet stable enough for landings on steep roofs. Laser sensors would help select the fastest route, and a porous, nano-structured skin outfitted with a low-pressure system reduces drag up to 90 percent, Silverberg said.

Silverberg confessed that he really didn't understand all of it, even though he's an expert in unified field theory.

"The man is a genius," Silverberg said of Santa, whom he described as "jolly, but learned."

What about figuring out who is naughty and nice? Theory: A mile-wide antenna of super-thin mesh relying on electromagnetic induction principles picks up brain waves of children around the world. Filter algorithms organize desires and behaviors, and microprocessors feed the data to an onboard sleigh guidance system.

Also, Santa must be checking kids' Facebook and Twitter accounts.

And does Santa carry all those presents in a single sleigh? Not possible, according to Silverberg.

More plausible: He creates them on-site, i.e., on each rooftop, using a reversible thermodynamic processor - a sort of nano-toymaker known as the "magic sack." The carbon from chimney soot would be a common building block.

But the students theorized that he still delivers presents the old-fashioned way, climbing down chimneys, dressed in a fire-resistant halocarbon polymer suit.

Explore further: Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the Sun

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User comments : 12

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Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (9) Dec 28, 2010
Oh goodness.

As if it wasn't bad enough that the overwhelming majority of allegedly christian people propagate teh santa lie, now people are actually wasting time and money trying to figure out the physics of how it could even be possible.
SantaClaus
5 / 5 (7) Dec 28, 2010
I enjoyed your article. Blessings to all, Santa Claus
trekgeek1
4.4 / 5 (9) Dec 28, 2010
Oh goodness.

As if it wasn't bad enough that the overwhelming majority of allegedly christian people propagate teh santa lie, now people are actually wasting time and money trying to figure out the physics of how it could even be possible.


Freeze,pause, and savor. This is how many people feel about Christians spreading the Jesus lie and spending time and money studying biblical events and creation. All that time wasted trying to explain how biblical miracles could have happened. Sorry, I don't mean to start another flame war,I just couldn't pass on such a beautiful comparison.
Ramael
5 / 5 (6) Dec 28, 2010
Holy mother of god, Quantum_Conundrum, is it all things that enrage you, or 95 percent of things? Your not an easy guy to please. Its starting to sounds like you have a bit of a god complex, deeming worthy and unworthy phenomenon left and right with little means or motivation.

Doesn't being the enemy all the time ever get exhausting, or are you just going to snap one of these days and bring on the biblical apocalypse?
x646d63
5 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2010
Oh goodness.


I am currently propagating the Santa Lie to my children.

Later I will explain to them that Santa is a personification of the act of giving.

Not everything has to be the way the media tells you it should be.
panorama
not rated yet Dec 29, 2010
Wasn't this covered in the 1994 movie The Santa Clause?
Vasya
4.5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2010
This is a serious scientific dilema. Further investigations are required.
Flippons
5 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2010
Who says science has to be boring and strait-laced? This is one of the funniest articles I've read for a while.
kaasinees
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2010
Lovely to read how ignorant and dumb Americans are. (again over and over)

Santa Clause comes from the Europian sinterklaas which comes from Saint Nicolas.

He was a real person like Jesus was. Though the bible is full of mistranslations in order to hold some power over people.

Btw if you are wondering i am a Buddhist.
trekgeek1
not rated yet Dec 31, 2010
Lovely to read how ignorant and dumb Americans are. (again over and over)

Santa Clause comes from the Europian sinterklaas which comes from Saint Nicolas.

He was a real person like Jesus was. Though the bible is full of mistranslations in order to hold some power over people.

Btw if you are wondering i am a Buddhist.


Nice to see how dumb some Buddhists are. Did anyone say that Santa was not based on a real historical figure? Did anyone claim that Jesus was not based on some ancient man? No, we deny the magical aspects of both. Santa didn't fly around the world and Jesus was not a deity. Sorry to prove your stupidity, over and over again.
Shakescene21
not rated yet Jan 02, 2011
This is a great example of science humor and I enjoyed reading it. Apparently several people in this forum didn't like it and left mean-spirited posts to show it.
One of the difficulties that Science faces is that a lot of scientists are humorless jerks. They aren't the majority, but there are enough of them that they create a perception that sours the general public against us.
This article shows that scientists can be light-hearted participants in the season's fun. The story got good press and brought smiles to thousands of adults who know who Santa Claus is.
ILIAD
not rated yet Jan 03, 2011
lol the story is great.