Here is a bit of whimsy for those of you who still believe in the white bearded, jolly old man in red known as Santa Claus. It comes from Knight Ridder Newspaper's reporter, Seth Borenstein.
Washington – “Scientists think they may have figured out how Santa Claus gets around the world in one night – Christmas Eve.
“The great minds of our planet have calculated Santa can zip around the world at a speed, according to Einstein’s theory of Relativity, that should turn Rudolph’s nose a blurry blue or warp time and space.
“Scientists calculate the Jolly Old Elf may be aided by a computer-generated trip planner, antennas to read children’s brainwaves and nano-technology that can make toys from cookies or dirt.
“His reindeer may be able to fly, powered by simple jet-like flatulence – in other words, methane gas may provide the magic.
“For the past several years, a handful of holiday-hearted physicists, engineers and biologist theorized just how Kris Kringle performs his yearly Christmas miracle. They’ve come up with different explanations for how fast Santa moves, how his reindeer fly, how Santa fits down chimneys and how he makes presents.
“Larry Silverberg, a professor of aerospace engineering at the North Carolina State University, has come up with the most detailed answer yet to a whimsical challenge.
“The key to Santa’s travel is what Silverberg calls a ‘relativity cloud’ in which Santa learned how to bend time, space and light, essentially making clocks run much slower for him than for the rest of us. This enables Santa to travel more than 75 million homes in 24 hours.
“Arnold Pompos, a physics researcher at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, five years ago came up with a slightly different version. He has Santa traveling at 99.99999999 percent of the speed of light, delivering all of his presents in about 500 seconds. The rest of the night he can ‘pig-out’ on milk and cookies.
“At that speed,” according to Pompos. ”Santa would leave a trail of light across the dark sky, and Rudolph’s nose would change colors, a phenomenon called the Doppler Shift.”
Now, you know all how Santa Claus can perform his Christmas miracle. He is a master of science!