The Science Behind Santa

posted in: Learn, The Science Behind | 0

Santa is a very busy man Christmas Eve, but how hard would it be for santa to deliver presents to all the children of the world?

Given the time change Santa would have about 32 hours to complete his rounds. Considering that Santa gave all 1.9 billion people children under 15 presents and the average fertility rate (number of children per women) at around 2 that would mean that there would be 950,000,000 (950 million) stops. Since the Earth has an area of 510 million km^2 and a land area of 149 million km^2 the average distance between households would be about 0.16 km. so if you take the time (32 hours) and divide it by the households (950 million) you get 29687500 stops per hour. That means each stop would last for about 0.0001 of a second.

Since the average distance between households is 0.16 km, Santa would have to travel 152000000 km in 32 hours. To do this he would have to travel at 4,750,000 km per hour. The fastest moving human object the New Horizons Probe moves at 58,536 km per hour so it would be about 81146 times faster than that. If each present weighed 2 kilograms (about 4.5 pounds). That would mean that Santa sleigh would have a mass of 3.8 billion kilograms (8.38 billion pounds) this means the acceleration rate considering 0 to 4,750,000 km/h in 1 second is 17,100,000,000 km/h^2 with a force of 56,358,353,096,524.6 ton-force or 134159.69 g’s. G-force affects can vary but typically 100g’s is typical for death, even though the record is 179 g’s. But I think 130,000 g’s is over the survivable limit. Not to mention the air resistance would probably cause the sleigh to catch on fire and santa would die in a fiery pile of presents.

As of the current moment no known species of reindeer can fly, but there is an estimated 300,000 species not yet discovered. While it may seem impossible for Santa to operate under the normal well known laws of physics, there is one way that Santa could operate. If the multiverse theory was proven and there were alternate universe Santa could simply just go through them via a wormhole and seamlessly deliver presents.

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Chase Wiley is a 14 year-old from Florida who loves science and fishing.

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