Livet, Universum, Fysik, Undervisning, Lärande och allting annat..

Arkiv for november, 2018

Does Santa Claus exist?

av 26. november 2018 i Fysik, Physics jokes, The light side med Ingen kommentarer

This is an very old text I wrote on Santa Claus, I think it is still readable..

Every year you get the same question from children, students and friends. Does Santa Claus exist?

Some people claim that there is no such figure; our image of the obese red-suited gentleman on a sleigh pulled by a number of reindeers is a creation of our own imagination. As “proof” for his non-existence they present a number of scientific facts!

Here I present one of the most important arguments for his non-existence.

The number of children (defined as a person under 18 years of age) on earth is about 2 billion. Even a reduction, since «only» Christians celebrate Christmas, to about 400 million children makes the task of delivering presents to each, overwhelming with about 130 million households (with 3 children on average) to visit during 31 hours. (from 6:00 pm Christmas eve to 6:00 am on Christmas day, taking into account time zones and assuming he travels from east to west). This implies that he have to visit about 1000 homes per second. During a millisecond, he must land the sleigh, locate the right presents, bring them and himself into the house, find the stockings and the tree, put the presents in place, go back to the sleigh and then to the next house. He is also supposed to have a small snack, for example cookies and milk, before leaving. Assuming a distance of 30 m, on average, between houses, he will cover a distance of about 3.9 million km in 31 hours (note that the real time of transportation is less as shown above) leading to an average speed of about 31 km/s. This speed will give rise to a tremendous air resistance, which will cause the reindeers to burst into flames. The process of roasting will start with a glowing red nose on Rudolph, before they all go up in flames. If we also take the number of presents into account, assuming that each child will get one present with a weight of 500 g, we find that the payload of the sleigh is about 200 million kg, which will give it a kinetic energy of 1.8 1017 J. This will not be possible for eight or nine reindeers, so he would probably need over 1 million thus increasing the payload further. And with this most people are satisfied in effectively killed the Santa myth. Oh ye little faithful.

But the arguments for the non-existence of Santa Claus are all based on Classical Physics. This flaw led me to believe that they, like Lord Kelvin, who had showed that the Earth couldn’t be billion of years old, had missed something. In this case Quantum Mechanics turned out to be a deus ex machina.

The question whether Santa Claus exists is similar to Schrödinger’s Cat or Wigner’s Friend. That is, Santa Claus must be a quantum mechanical entity on a macroscopic scale.

If we take a look on Santa’s characteristics, we find some evidence for his quantum character:

He knows when you have been good or been bad, therefore he must, in some way, be everywhere at any given moment in time!

And he can distribute Christmas gifts to 400 million children all over earth in just 31 hours. The reason must be that he spreads out over the world in a complex wave-function, thus being effectively in many places at once.

Oddly enough, this seems to have been known by parents a long time. Were you not told that if you stay up trying to see Santa, you wouldn’t get any presents? If Santa is observed, his wave-function collapses into the well known obese red-suited gentleman on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and this stops him doing his job properly, and quite possibly annoys him, and all those who will not get their gifts, a great deal.

The presents that he distributes must also be of quantum mechanical character, but this doesn’t matter, because when you observe them, their wave-function collapse as well, enabling you to unwrap them and collapse their wave-functions further into one of those things you put on your wishing list or one of these thing that you didn’t want for Christmas. The great thing about this system is that you are guaranteed a surprise, because you never know precisely what the present is until you have unwrapped it. Which is exactly how it should be?

This explanation also eliminates the need for Santa to have reindeers or additional helpers, which should leave them to the things they prefer to do during Christmas.

There are other faithful gentlemen around the world working on the existence of Santa Claus.

We have the teleportation theory which explains how Santa can teleport himself with ease. One problem with this theory is time, the delivery must be done in one millisecond.

There also exists a String Claus theory, where Santa Claus is an 11 dimensional entity who moves in all dimensions without problems. However this theory has not been able to show any connection with the observed facts about Santa Claus yet.

So you see Santa Claus do exist, as a quantum mechanical entity. With this proof I am sure that I have saved Christmas for millions of children around the world, and hope that I will get some sort of gratitude from them. One penny each will be just fine, please send them to NTNU who will forward them to finance my project in building a Santa Claus detector. Don’t worry I will have it shut down during Christmas, as I do not want to ruin my chance to receive the Nobel Prize, when Santa is experimentally verified.

Topp