[collected Sat Jan 5 20:32:22 CST 2002]
A SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT SANTA
There are 2 billion kids under 18 in the world, but since Santa doesn't
appear to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist
and a few others, that reduces the workload to 378 million. At an
average of 3.5 kids per household, that's 91.8 million
homes, assuming there's at least one good kid in each home.
Santa has 31 hours of Christmas, thanks to different time zones and the
rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east
to west. This works out to 822.6 visits per second, which means he has
1/1000th of a second to park, jump down the
chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the presents, eat snacks and get
back into the sleigh. This means he has to move
at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound.
The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming
each kid get one 2pound present, the sleigh is
carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa. When you factor in what a
normal reindeer can haul, you would need 214,200
reindeer to pull the load, putting the total load at 353,430 tons, or
four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth ship.
353,430 tons traveling at 650 miles per second would create so much
energy that the reindeer would burst into flames
instantaneously, vaporizing all 214,200 reindeer in 4.26 seconds.
