Scientists Ponder Santa's High-Tech Secrets12/23/11
FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- You'd better watch out:
Santa Claus has a good grasp on quantum theory, genetic engineering
and the space-time continuum.
That's the verdict of scientists who are pondering how one
jolly, bearded guy manages to get gifts to nice-but-not-naughty
kids around the world in one magic night.
And never mind what you may have heard about his old-fashioned
transportation system. "It could be that the sled and reindeer are
something that the marketing department came up with" to distract
people from the reality, said Jim Kakalios, a professor at the
University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy.
Kakalios, who can look forward to a lump of coal in his stocking
for spilling the beans, thinks that the man in red independently
controls his "quantum mechanical wavefunction." That means he can
appear in multiple places at once and pass through solid barriers,
After all, he said, "we're talking about somewhere over 2
billion households that he has to visit."
Gregory Mone, a science journalist and author of the book "The
Truth about Santa: Wormholes, Robots and What Really Happens on
Christmas Eve," thinks there are other explanations -- a hypersonic
sleigh, warp drive, teleportation and, yes, wormholes. "It's
obvious that he has to time travel. Every time he moves from one
home to the next, he also goes back in time by about thirty
Could Santa solve his problems by moving at the speed of light?
Kakalios is doubtful. "You acquire mass as you're going that fast
getting in out and out of chimneys," he said. And everyone knows
about Santa's mass problems.
Speaking of his mass, how does he manage to take a nibble out of
the cookies and milk -- or other culture-appropriate foodstuffs --
that are left for him on Christmas Eve? We know he's, um,
vertically gifted, possibly because of the lack of exercise
facilities at the North Pole. But he'd have a whole lot more excess
poundage if he was gobbling down millions upon millions of
So what gives other than his pants? "He clearly has some kind of
genetic engineering or advanced drugs working in his favor,
allowing him to digest all that sugar. Otherwise he'd be dead,"
Then there's the matter of Santa's surveillance system -- all
that inside knowledge into whether we've been bad or good. For
goodness sake, how does he do it?
Larry Silverberg, associate head of mechanical and aerospace
engineering at North Carolina State University, suspects he uses a
4-square-mile underground antenna in the North Pole to monitor the
very-real brain waves of kids.
"You'd have to isolate the signals from each child, so you could identify which ones are naughty or nice, and what presents they want," Silverberg said. "It's a good thing it's Santa Claus," he added, and not someone nefarious.
Check the U.S. Department of Defense's announcement about how
North American Aerospace Defense Command will once again
monitor Santa's movements in the skies on Dec.
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