Santa is coming to Town. But how?
Every year I hear the same questions asked and have indeed asked those questions myself.
- How does Santa travel around the world in one night?
- How canÂ ReindeerÂ fly?
- Why is Rudolphs Nose Red?
I have spent the last 6 years researching the answer to these questions and compiling what evidence I could to proof the existence of Santa Claus.
During this series of posts I will address each of the question above and reference my research to help answer the questions as best I can.
How does Santa travel around the world in one night?
To start off lets deal with this question. This is a key question andÂ understanding this will help you understand each of the other questions.
According to the latest reports Santa needs to visit 91.9 million homes in 31 hours (due to the rotation of the earth and different time zones). This works out at 822.6 houses visited every second. This by any stretch of the imagination would seem impossible.
However the key issue here is the time limit we have imposed on Santa Claus (31 hours). If Santa had enough time he could easily visit each house, leave the presents under the tree and enjoy the milk and cookies left out for him.
My theory is that Santa does have this time limit because he can time travel and if he can time travel he take as much time as he needs to in order to visit every household.
One way he might be able to achieve this is by taken advantage of something called the Lorentz Factor and Special Relativity.
Our current understanding of physics makes it impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. However Santa does not need to travel faster he just needs to get very close to the speed of light. At this speed he can take advantage of Special Relativity and of Lorentz contraction. Special Relativity is the theory that time is relative to the observer, and Lorentz contraction is an extension of this that states as an object approaches the speed of light distance starts contracting.
Here’s a simple explanation to demonstrate the Lorentz factor and Special Relativity in action.
ThereÂ two people whoÂ happen to be twins and their parents unfortunately named them Twin A and Twin B
Before anyone says anything I realise that Twin B is slightly taller than Twin A. But for the sake of this explanation lets say they are identical twins.
So Twin A became an Astronaut and Twin B was a Footballer.
Twin A was delighted to be selected for NASA deep space flight programÂ and was sent of with great fanfare. His destination was the star Proxima Centauri. This star is about 4 light years away so you would imagine that at almost the speed of light it would take him 4 years to get there and 4 years to get back.
So Twin A and Twin B said their goodbyes and Twin A set off for Proxima Centauri, Twin B carried on playing professional football. 8 years passed for Twin B and he eagerly awaited Twin A’s arrival home.
When Twin A finally arrived home Twin B was shocked to notice that he had hardly aged at all. This is because to Twin A the entire trip only took 0.8 years so he only aged 10 months, whereas Twin B had aged 8 years.
This happened because to Twin A as he travelled in space at almost the speed of light time past as normal, he felt the days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. But because he and everything on the spaceship was travelling at close to the speed of light time moved at different rate for him than it did for Twin B back on Earth.
So essentially at these speeds not only is Santa slowing time down (Special Relativity)Â he is also reducing the distance he needs to travel (Lorentz Contraction), in factÂ by contracting space time so much he could theoreticallyÂ travel to any location on Earth almost instantly. AlsoÂ If Santa has mastered these techniques he would have no problem fitting all the presents for all the children in the world in his sack as he could make as many stops as he likes at the North Pole to refill.
Does this mean no one has ever seen Santa?
At these speeds Santa can spend what is months to him but fractions of secondsÂ Â to us (because of Special Relativity) delivering presents, because of this you would not be wrong to say catching a glimpse of him is very difficult. But not impossible. See Santa does not always travel at these speeds there are times that the Reindeer and the sleigh drop into our time frame. If you are lucky enough you may even catch a glimpse of them in the sky on Christmas Eve. Look out for a small dot crossing the sky, This is the sleigh accelerating. I myself have been lucky enough to photograph such a moment last year.
As you can see by this photo it looks like the sleigh was just about to jump time frames signified by the long streak proceeding the sleigh. Moments like this a very rare but keep a look out on Christmas Eve for something similar.
Below is another photograph sent to me by a colleague in Mexico City. This one is particular amazing in that my colleague managed to catch the very moment Lorentz contraction occurred. You can clearly see the outline of the Reindeer and Sleigh before it moves out of our visible time frame.
I hope this has helped you understand a little of the science of Santa. It is quite obvious that Santa and his elves have access to technology beyond our reach and have an understanding of physics that is far greater than our own.
Remember although Santa travels in his own time frame on Christmas Eve there are times you can spot the sleigh, so keep an eye out and please let me know if you see anything.
Next week we will be looking at how Reindeer can fly?