**Is there a Santa Claus? - a physicist view**
Consider the following:

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of

living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and

germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has

ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 1

in the world. BUT since

Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist

children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according

to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per

household, that’* 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’* at least one good

child in each.

3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different

time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west

(which seems logical).

This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each

Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park,

hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute

the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get

back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next

house.

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around

the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our

calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household,

a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us

must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

This means that Santa’* sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000

times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made

vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per

second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that

each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the

sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably

described as overweight.

On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even

granting that ‘flying reindeer’ (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal

amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine.

We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the

weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four

times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air

resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft

re-entering the earth’* atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3

QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each.

In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the

reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The

entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times

greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be

pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.> In

conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’* dead

now.