So, it’s Christmas, and all of a sudden, can we talk about science, or is there only magic in Christmas?
Of course we can talk about science, it’s even the best way to silence all the skeptics who don’t believe in Santa Claus, who think that giving gifts to about two billion kids in one night is impossible.
2 billion is the number of children in the world?
Yes, children under 14 years old. So not all of these kids receive gifts, you know you have to be good to receive one. But there are still plenty of gifts to give out. Well, we still haven’t been able to introduce a spy to the elves, so we don’t know exactly how Santa Claus does it, but we do have ideas for how to proceed.
And how? For example, how does he get to all these homes in a few hours?
So actually, it’s a few hours for us, but it’s probably a lot shorter for him. Quite simply because it has to go very fast, at a speed close to the speed of light, 300,000 km/s. But at these speeds we know that time is stretching, it is the theory of relativity that tells us this, and in any case we observe it, for example with GPS satellites. In other words, Santa sees time passing more slowly than we do. Our clocks only last a few minutes when he’s on the move.
This explains why we don’t see him getting old, but it does add to the complexity of handing out gifts.
That’s right, and so it’s the opposite of what you need to do: extend the time so that the few hours of giving gifts last for months for Santa Claus. And there, obviously, Santa Claus knows more than we do about how to manipulate space-time. Professor Silverberg of North Carolina State University in the US believes he is traveling in a relativistic bubble, a kind of rip in space-time where time can be stretched like rubber. In addition, in these bubbles, space is compressed, and therefore you have to travel fewer kilometers. Perhaps it even uses wormholes, the kind of shortcut in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein.
But this still does not explain everything. Santa’s basket must be magical: millions of toys in one bag!
This is also why Professor Silverberg has a theory: the hood is actually a nano-toy factory, manufacturing toys from raw materials found on site, such as snow or soot from chimneys. As a result, Santa’s sleigh remains light enough to be pulled by a reindeer. It’s almost an ordinary sled, with a body made of porous nanotubes that makes it possible to reduce air friction, otherwise the heat generated by friction at that speed would literally consume the sled. And then we can assume that it has all the equipment of a modern car, such as highly accurate GPS and lidar for better driving.
But a flying reindeer can’t be explained by science, right?
Well, you just have to outfit them with jet packs, you know, those jet packs in the form of backpacks that let you fly. However, other American researchers have proposed another, much simpler theory: Santa Claus simply uses an army of drones resembling a sleigh pulled by reindeer and equipped with 3D printers. In any case, Santa Claus is ahead of us technically and scientifically, since he has been using these technologies for many centuries. And we still have a lot to learn!