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Re: Theos-World The Physics of Santa and His Reindeer-Krishtar

Dec 19, 2004 05:50 AM
by krishtar


This e-mail made feel down, now I don´t believe in Santa any more.
Last week I received a message saying that Santa Claus was a gay, now another message claims that he is probably dead!!
So how can I live without my Valium?( smile)

----- Original Message ----- 
To: undisclosed-recipients: 
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2004 3:04 AM
Subject: Theos-World The Physics of Santa and His Reindeer

The Physics of Santa and His Reindeer

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 two 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 Population Reference Bureau. At an average (Rudolph 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, 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 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 per household, a total trip of

75 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, 3,000

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.

If every one of the 91.8 million homes with good children were to put outa

single chocolate chip cookie and an 8 ounce glass of 2% milk, the total

calories (needless to say other vitamins and minerals) would be

approximately 225 calories (100 for the cookie, give or take, and 125 for

the milk, give or take). Multiplying the number of calories per house by

the number of homes (225 x 91.8 x 1000000), we get the total number of

calories Santa consumes that night, which is 20,655,000,000 calories. To

break it down further, 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories. Dividing our

total number of calories by the number of calories in a pound

(20655000000/3500) and we get the number of pounds Santa gains, 5901428.6,

which is 2950.7 tons.

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that

each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (two 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 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see above) could

pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, 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) - to 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 spacecraft re-entering

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 create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The

entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths 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 now.

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