Santa's mastery of science creates Christmas magic

Posted December 21, 2011

— How does Santa Claus make it all the way around the world on his sleigh, stopping at every chimney from here to Timbuktu, delivering presents to good boys and girls in just one merry night? 

How can he tell who's been naughty or nice? How does he know each child's secret Christmas wishes? And whose little hands really make all of those toys?

For decades, mystified scientists have chalked up Santa's power to the inexplicable wonder of magic, but a North Carolina State University aerospace engineer said Wednesday that Santa is, in fact, a scientific genius.

The magic, says Larry Silverberg, is real.

"Santa is not just a jolly old elf," Silverberg said. "He really has an understanding of engineering, technology, science that's far beyond our own."

It all starts at the North Pole, Silverberg has found, where Santa has an elaborate technical setup that rivals the nerve center of the CIA.

An underground antenna listens to children's thoughts.

"He takes those signals and finds out whether the child has been naughty or nice, and ultimately, what present the child wants," Silverberg said.

Santa's sleigh powered by science, not magic Santa's sleigh powered by science, not magic

One of Santa's greatest inventions, the relativity cloud, bends time and space to allow for his round-the-world Christmas journey.

"Inside the relativity cloud, Santa and his reindeer have six months to deliver the presents, but outside the relativity cloud, only a wink of an eye goes by," Silverberg said.

That's why so few children have had encounters with the jolly old elf as he sneaks their presents under the tree.

"When you look from inside the relativity cloud, outside everything appears frozen. When you’re outside the relativity cloud, like a child seeing Santa when he’s delivering the presents, it all happens so quickly," Silverberg said. "The spottings are very, very quick."

Getting toys inside the house is another hurdle for Santa. Not every toy can squeeze easily down the chimney – even Santa's round, jolly belly can be a pretty tight fit.

Santa Full: Aerospace engineer explains science of Santa

Luckily, he has mastered nanotechnology.

"It's so heavy, all the presents, when you add them up, that to carry them on the sleigh would actually be prohibitive," Silverberg said. 

So, he uses a nano-toymaker to grow the presents under the tree.

"A nano-toymaker is a device that, you take materials like cookies and soot and indigenous materials, and you actually form and manufacture (toys)," Silverberg said. "(It's) like a whole manufacturing plant, but small-scale, you make the entire present right there under the tree, wrapping and all."

As a scientist, Silverberg looks forward to Christmas each year, when he can ponder the remarkable accomplishments of one of the greatest pioneers in his field. Last year, he and some of his colleagues had the privilege of visiting Santa's workshop at the North Pole. 

"The way (Santa) actually gets all the presents to kids, it's the most remarkable feat that we know of," he said. "So Santa welcomed us to show us a little bit about his technology, so that we could actually take advantage of it. Santa not only helps us with presents, he also helps us understand technology."


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  • tjdebord Dec 22, 2011

    Of course it's magic. I know Santa personally. He disappeared right in front of me many years ago. My great great grandfather knew him, too. The dude is a very old man but hasn't changed a bit.

  • miseem Dec 21, 2011

    I suggest that Mr Silverberg do a little more research. Santa does not live at the North Pole. At least not anymore. He's been worried about global warming for several years and was afraid that in a few decades, the North Pole would consist of a half dozen ice cubes floating in the Arctic Ocean. A few years ago, he picked up about 30,00 acres outside Cheyenne Wyoming that had a huge deactivated cold war SAC bunker and four missile silos. He runs his operations center out of the bunker. He uses one of the silos for rocket assisted take off for his sleigh. He uses the other three to launch multiple santa sack missiles that place preloaded goodie bags and toys into low geostationary orbit. This has been a tremendous time saver since he does not have to keep going back to his workshop to reload, he just snags one on the go. My understanding is that he uses a molecular compresser/expander that can shrink, then enlarge toys, not a nano toymaker. I could be wrong. But I don't think so

  • quaten Dec 21, 2011

    This explains the phenomena of nono-sweater-seeds that all grandmothers seem to receive just prior to Santa's visit.

    Grandma cleverly tosses those seeds under the christmas tree before christmas day, and *poof* - they turn into sweaters and socks and underwear on christmas day.

    The pre-programming of those seeds, resulting in the wrong size ("Oh - you'll grow into it" ), still has a few bugs to be worked out.

  • TheDude abides... Dec 21, 2011


  • pdmc1270 Dec 21, 2011

    Love it!

  • Wendellcatlover Dec 21, 2011

    Wow...great explanation!