Every Christmas, calculations are made to try and explain why Santa Claus cannot deliver all his presents to every child around the globe and still be within the bounds of physics. However, this year four physicists had been instructed to solve this paradox.
To quote an exert:
Every Christmas, calculations circulate that have been dubbed "The Physics of Santa Claus". The calculations cast doubt as to whether Santa Claus could possibly deliver gifts to all the world's good children - and still remain within the laws of physics. To deliver gifts to all who deserve them, they assert, Santa would need to move so fast that he would vaporise due to air resistance, be torn to pieces by gravitational forces or suffer other terrible fates we wouldn't wish for Santa Claus.
Many fall for these calculations. Yes, there has even been one instance in which a vicar was criticised for using them to explain to small children that Santa does not exist. Luckily, some would say, the vicar has apologised to the traumatised children.
Because, even though the physics of the calculations is apparently good, the reasoning rests on a completely wrong premise, namely that Santa Clause does not exist. Even small children understand that this premise is completely wrong!
How will Santa Claus ensure that all the good children receive their presents and once again save Christmas? To clear up this important question, Internet magazine forskning.no has gathered four the country's sharpest researchers: astrophysicist Knut Jorgen Roed Odegaard, professor of physics Gaute Einevoll, professor of mathematics Nils Lid Hjort and Elf expert Ane Ohrvik.
They've taken the job very seriously.
If Santa Claus is to deliver all the gifts to all the good children, his sleigh must fly so fast that he would burn up due to air resistance. But it has already been documented that Santa has no problem climbing down a chimney with a fire burning below. So how does Santa solve the problem of heat?
"Santa obviously has an ion-shield of charged particles, held together by a magnetic field, surrounding his entire sleigh. This is how he solves the heat problem," points out Knut Jorgen Roed Oedegaard, who also casts a new light in the night sky: ..."
Many moons ago - in the misty swamplands of the early WWW (1996) - I uploaded some of my applications I wrote to several FTP servers. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the file still exists exactly the way I have uploaded it. Search for "scicalc" or "Waldo Nell" here.
As you can see, the old Gamma web site has been removed in favour of this blog. Since most of the content there were anyways just information oriented, I think it is much more meaningful (and easier) to add that kind of content using a publishing platform such as this.
Therefore I have moved all those entries on to this blog, under yesterday's date. They might not all look perfect, but at least that information is still available and searchable now too.
I was absolutely amazed by what people set forth to achieve, especially something so adventurous such as creating a camera that can take an image at a gigapixel resolution (that is a thousand times more resolution than your standard 1 megapixel camera of today). Check it out.