TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Mushroom Stamp Layer
Joined
·
844 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
One of my favorite Christmas reads...enjoy...

<h2>The Physics of Santa Claus</h2>

No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and 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. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the 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, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, and assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of his sleigh, jump down the chimnye, 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 purpose of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), 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 punds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (refer to point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal load, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entereing the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy per SECOND, EACH! In short, hey will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousanths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead by now.
 

·
Mushroom Stamp Layer
Joined
·
844 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
<h2>Santa's Rebuttal</h2>


NORTH POLE, SANTA'S VILLAGE - For Immediate Release

It has come to the attention of Santa's workshop that there have been disparaging remarks made in the press recently about Santa's very existence. Several key points are overlooked by this callous, amateurish, so-called study.

As was admitted by the skeptics, there is only a very small probability of finding a flying reindeer. That is precisely because they are all located at the Workshop. Your very argument against Santa is proof of his existence! As is widely known (Re: the excellent historical documentaries "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer") the flying reindeer are not a separate species, but were in fact given the power of flight due to eating magic acorns, which is passed on in their offspring.

A series of cascading assumptions have been relied upon to show the "impossibility" of delivering all presents in one Christmas. For example, there was assumed a uniform distribution of children across homes. Toronto/Yorkville, or NYC/SOHO, or other yuppie neighborhoods, have less than the average (and don't forget the DINK/SINK homes (Double Income No Kids, Single Income No Kids)), while the Catholic (the predominant Christian denomination) families with 10 children would skew that derived 15% of homes down a few percent.

You've also assumed that each home that has kids would have at least one good kid. Let us assure you that anti-selection applies, and homes with good kids tend to have more than their share of good kids? Still other single-child homes are notorious for spoiled "naughty" children and average 55% delivery on a good year. Let's drop that number of homes down a few more percent.

A simple history lesson reminds us that, the first major schism in the Church split the Eastern Churches, centered in Byzantium, from the Western, which remained centered in Rome, prior to the Gregorian correction to the Julian calendar. The Eastern "Orthodox" Churches do not recognize the Gregorian correction for liturgical events, and their Christmas is, as a result, several days after that of the Western Churches'. Thus, Santa's schedule is not as tight as previously indicated.

Santa does indeed FedEx a number of packages ahead of time, since he is not be able to fly into Air Force Bases, or into tower- controlled areas near airports. He's certainly not into dodging SCUD missiles over the no-fly zones in Iraq, so he uses DHL there. Subtract some more homes.

In regards to speed and time, we can't reveal all the details, but let us remind you of basic relativity theory: The faster you go, the slower time progresses. Do you think StarTrek came up with the idea of warp drive? So, if Santa could go faster than light, then he can easily visit all the good children which are not uniformly distributed by either concentration in each home or by number of children per household, and get home before he left so he can digest all those stale cookies and warm milk. (Has anyone thought of ice cubes?)

Aha, you say, Enterprise has matter-antimatter warp engines, Santa only has reindeer, where does he get the power to move that fast? The answer is right before your skeptical eyes! The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy. Per second. Each. This is an ample supply of energy for the maneuvering, acceleration, etc., that would be required of the loaded sleigh. The reindeer don't evaporate or incinerate or get crushed because of this energy; they accelerate! What do you think they have antlers for, fighting over females? Think of antlers as furry shield generator arrays.

The issue of weight constraints and delivery methods also shows a shocking lack of knowledge of basic matter/energy relations and beginning quantum physics. (Picture a two dimensional complex function mapped to the surface of a sphere with approximately 9000 nodal surfaces, and 18 million regions of relatively high amplitude.) Assuming this is getting way ahead of most people's conceptual limits, we'll just say that Captain Kirk wasn't the first to say "beam me down." Transporters, replicators, and holo-projections have been standard equipment in some workshops and certain aerospace vehicle way before the 24th century.

If that's not enough, watch the news on the 24th at 11 o'clock. NORAD (one of the few government agencies with more than 3 initials in it's name and therefore more trustworthy than the rest) tracks Santa every year and displays radar shots of him approaching from the North Pole. They haven't bombarded him yet, so they must believe too, right?

We certainly hope this clears up any damage caused by the bad press. Santa dead, indeed--some people will twist any statistic model to "prove" their cynical theory.
 

·
Refrigerator Raider Hater
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
If santa moves at the speed of light, how could he be tracked via radar?

How does he get back before he left? Time slows with the increase in speed, but it can't go backwards, in fact it can't even stop.
 

·
Refrigerator Raider Hater
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
JJanney said:


Einstein is rolling over in his grave.
RADAR uses Radio waves, which travel at the speed of light. If both the radio waves and Santa travel at the same speed, wouldn't the Doppler Effect screw up the waves? If he was coming straight at the station, he would appear twice as colse as he actually is, and if he was going directly away from the station, he would not "bounce" back a signal at all. The only time he could be tracked within 10% of his actual location is if he was traveling at an angle of of 64* towards and 64* away from the station. That's only roughly 29% of the time.

I should be rolling over in bed instead of proving how much of a nerd I am.
 

·
Chapter Director Coordinator
Joined
·
6,253 Posts
that has always been funny..

radio waves, like all electromagnetic waves, move at the speed of light.. we always found this funny....

if radio waves can carry sound.. (hence term radio)... then does sound move at the speed of light.. or does the radio wave get there first (from antenna to your radio in your car) with the actual sound comin in a bit later???

heheheh.. physics..

:mad: :2huh: :mad:
 

·
Refrigerator Raider Hater
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
James, the sound does not travel in sound form. It is converted at the radio antenna to radio waves, and then the radio in your car converts the radio waves into sound.
 

·
Chapter Director Coordinator
Joined
·
6,253 Posts
no dude...

i know that... it was just something a smart *** always liked to bring up to argue with the physics instructor..

it was actually a riddle once in class.....

when does sound move at the speed of light?
when it is sent via radio waves

ya i know.. was just stating something.

JD
 

·
Mushroom Stamp Layer
Joined
·
844 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
GreenBird said:
James, the sound does not travel in sound form. It is converted at the radio antenna to radio waves, and then the radio in your car converts the radio waves into sound.
Actually it's not really "radio waves" but Radio Frequency Radiation (RF Radiation). No raw "sound" ever comes in contact with a radio it's always in a digital form (either over copper or fiber). Somewhere along the line of a big radio you have a multiplexer and then you get a group or a supergroup (many groups) and then this goes into a modem which modulates the carrier signal and gives an output of 70 or 700 MHz (IF), this would then flow into some type of upconverter which changes IF into your transmit frequency, then power amplifier to amplify your transmit signal. There can also always be other things somewhere in between like dejitterizers and echo suppressors but we won't get into that. Only thing regarding "waves" is your wavelength which is directly proportional to your frequency...the higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength. So you see...it's converted WAY before the antenna :)

<img src="http://members.tccoa.com/seabass55/SHF.jpg">

My physics teacher would always ask....you travel 30 miles south, 50 miles west and 30 miles north and you are back at the same spot...where are you? Easy I know...but he was a goofy bastard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,848 Posts
GreenBird said:
If he was coming straight at the station, he would appear twice as close as he actually is...
How you figure?

You said yourself radio waves and light waves travel at the same speed right? Well if that's so, when the radio wave never really "bounces" off of him, it kind of "hits" him and then stays right with him, so actually he appears where he was when the wave hit him, which depending on how far he was away there is no certain "times" factor of how much it is off, but Santa and the "wave" would arrive at the radar at precisely the same moment.

-J
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top