The Physics of Santa Claus (Synopsis)

"Our family was too strange and weird for even Santa Claus to come visit... Santa, who was jolly - but, let's face it, he was also very judgmental." -Julia Sweeney

Everyone loves to point out the holes in the Santa Claus theory. After all, how could one person with a sled, powered by eight flying reindeer, deliver presents in one night to hundreds of millions of households all over the world? And yet, every Christmas morning, children wake up to find they did, in fact, get a visit from Santa.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Glogger, of the Santa Claus parade in Toronto, 2007. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Glogger, of the Santa Claus parade in Toronto, 2007.

Surprisingly, from a physics point of view, there's no reason at all to suspect this is impossible! Sure, it might require a little bit of technology that's at the limit or slightly beyond of what we've developed, but everything necessary is within the realm of physical possibility. With the exception of the flying reindeer, there's no Christmas magic required!

Image credit: NASA, of Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson, STS-114 mission specialist, anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2. Image credit: NASA, of Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson, STS-114 mission specialist, anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2.

Come find out how, and learn about the (advanced) physics of Santa Claus!

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What colour would Rudolph's red nose be when traveling at fast enough speed to visit every home in one night?

And does anyone remember the name of the reindeer that everyone forgets in that song about Rudolph?

And we still have this petulant pustule on the arse-ring of society posting their incandescent hatred on every single thread.

Fuck off you moronic retard.

Long may you rot in your own filth.

"Fuck off you moronic retard."

Wooozer the Grinch's heart is so small to spew trash in a Christmas thread about Santa.
Stocking full of coal for you.

By Ragtagmedia (not verified) on 21 Dec 2015 #permalink

"Wooozer the Grinch’s heart is so small to spew trash in a Christmas thread about Santa."

I know, I post an innocuous and "silly" comment about Rudolph, and then that shitbag poe rants with spraying dribble a load of hate-filled crap.

Well done for both noticing and coming out against that sort of shite.

"Stocking full of coal for you."

WTF? You thought it was *me*???? ROFL!!!!

I take it all back, teabaggie, you invent your own reality then blather on about it.

Fuck off you moron.

Case in point.

And there doesn't seem to be Jules around any more for some reason... And Nads is surprisingly absent,

It can't be that the wrong person is being rude everywhere for them to take action against it, can it? 'course it can.

My kid is going through the process of reconciling Santa with what he knows about the world right now. He knows that magic is something that only happens in stories. But he also keeps getting told by (other) adults that Santa can deliver presents to everyone via magic. How to reconcile these two 'facts'? I let him hypothesize and neither confirm nor deny. What he comes up with is quite endearing. His latest attempt: "it's not magic, grandpa, it just looks that way. He uses special chemicals." Arthur C. Clarke would be proud. :)

Depends on how old he is, eric.

It may work better to say that Santa *can* do that, but with so many children and so many homes, he can't do all of the presents for children.

I hadn't thought of the bathroom break requirement before Ethan, but I figure if long-haul truckers can deal with it...

“it’s not magic, grandpa, it just looks that way. He uses special chemicals.”

:)

That's what A-Rod said to the Yankees.
Right about the time our oldest son was beginning to question things we had an amazing coincidence. We did the cookies and milk stuff on the counter. Boys were in bed, we were asleep - the older boy came into our room and whispered "There's someone downstairs."
"Why do you think that?"
"I can hear the TV."
I listen. Sure as crap the television is on, and I know it was off when I finished setting up and came upstairs.
I got up and went down to check: nothing was out of place, so I turned off the rogue television, tidied up the counter, and went back upstairs.
"What channel was the TV on Dad?"
"The Weather Channel" (I had to say something).
"Oh. Santa probably wanted to check for storms huh?"
Back to bed everyone went.

It wasn't long after that that the TV gave up the ghost, but it did provide a nice little memory for us.