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Special Category: Afterlife
October 31

                        HEAVEN IS HOTTER THAN HELL

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed.  Our
authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as
the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as
the light of seven days."  Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much
radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much
as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all.  The light we
receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the
Sun, so we can ignore that ... The radiation falling on Heaven will
heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to
the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much
heat as the Earth by radiation.  Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for
radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute temperature of the
earth (300K), gives H as 798K (525C).  The exact temperature of Hell
cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 21:8 says "But the
fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone."  A lake of molten brimstone means
that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C.  We
have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.
                -- From "Applied Optics" vol. 11, A14, 1972

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December 25
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes
From: sirius#NoSpam.wam.umd.edu (The Human Neutrino = Linda Harden)

           IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS? (Spy Magazine, January 1990)

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 18) 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's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's 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's 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 anoint, 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
spacecrafts re-entering the earth's 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's
dead now.
                       (story originally attributed to Richard Waller)


                                REBUTTAL 1

From: hjiwa#NoSpam.nor.chevron.com Canonical List Of Holiday Humor
Rebuttal: (Jim Mantle, Waterloo Maple Software)

Come on, ya gotta believe! I mean, if you can handle flying furry animals,
then it's only a small step to the rest.

For example;

   1) As admitted, it is possible that a flying reindeer can be found. I
would agree that it would be quite an unusual find, but they might exist.

   2) You've relied on cascading assumptions. For example, you have assumed
a uniform distribution of children across homes. Toronto/Yorkville, or
Toronto/Cabbagetown, or other yuppie neighbourhoods, have probably less
than the average (and don't forget the DINK and SINK homes (Double Income
No Kids, Single Income No Kids)), while the families with 748 starving
children that they keep showing on Vision TV while trying to pick my pocket
would skew that 15% of homes down a few percent.

   3) You've also assumed that each home that has kids would have at least
one good kid. What if anti-selection applies, and homes with good kids tend
to have more than their share of good kids, and other homes have nothing
except terrorists in diapers? Let's drop that number of homes down a few
more percent.

   4) Santa would have to Fedex a number of packages ahead of time, since he
would not be able to fly into Air Force Bases, or into tower-controlled areas
near airports. He's get shot at over certain sections of the Middle East, and
the no-fly zones in Iraq, so he'd probably use DHL there. Subtract some more

   5) I just barely passed Physics and only read Stephen Hawking's book
once, but I recall that there is some Einsteinian Theory that says time
does strange things as you move faster. In fact, when you go faster than
the speed of light time runs backward, if you do a straight line
projection, connect the dots and just ignore any singularity you might find
right at the speed of light. And don't say you can't go faster than the
speed of light because I've seen it done on TV. Jean-Luc doesn't have
reindeer but he does have matter-antimatter warp engines and a holodeck and
that's good enough for me.
   So Santa could go faster than light, visit all the good children which
are not uniformly distributed by either concentration in each home or by
number of children per household, and get home before he left so he can
digest all those stale cookies and warm milk yech.

   6) Aha, you say, Jean-Luc has matter-antimatter warp engines, Santa only
has reindeer, where does he get the power to move that fast!
   You calculated the answer! The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3
quintillion joules of energy. Per second. Each. This is an ample supply of
energy for the maneuvering, acceleration, etc, that would be required of the
loaded sleigh. The reindeer don't evaporate or incinerate because of this
energy, they accelerate. What do you think they have antlers for, fighting over
females? Think of antlers as furry solar array panels.

   7) If that's not enough, watch the news on the 24th at 11 o'clock. NORAD
(which may be one of the few government agencies with more than 3 initials
in it's name and therefore it must be more trustworthy than the rest)
tracks Santa every year and I've seen the radar shots of him approaching my
house from the direction of the North Pole. They haven't bombarded him yet,
so they must believe too, right?

Yet another rebuttal to the rebuttal:

                                REBUTTAL 2

Several key points are overlooked by this callous, amateurish "study."

   1) Flying reindeer: As is widely known (due to the excellent historical
documentary "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the flying reindeer are not a
previously unknown species of reindeer, but were in fact given the power of
flight due to eating magic acorns. As is conclusively proven in "Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (a no punches pulled look at life in Santa's
village), this ability has bred true in subsequent generations of reindeer,
obviously the magic acorns imprinted their power on a dominant gene
sequence within the reindeer DNA strand.

   2) Number of households: This figure overlooks two key facts. First of
all, the first major schism in the Church split the Eastern Churches,
centered in Byzantium, from the Western, which remained centered in Rome.
This occurred prior to the Gregorian correction to the Julian calendar. The
Eastern churches (currently called Orthodox Churches) do not recognize the
Gregorian correction for liturgical events, and their Christmas is as a
result several days after the Western Churches'. Santa gets two shots at
delivering toys.
   Secondly, the figure of 3.5 children per household is based on the gross
demographic average, which includes households with no children at all. The
number of children per household, when figured as an average for households
with children, would therefore have to be adjusted upward. Also, the
largest single Christian denomination is Roman Catholic, who, as we all
know, breed like rabbits. If you don't believe me, ask my four brothers and
two sisters, they'll back me up. Due to the predominance of Catholics
within Christian households, the total number of households containing
Christian children would have to be adjusted downward to reflect the
overloading of Catholics beyond a standard deviation from the median.

   Also, the assertion that each home would contain at least one good child
would be reasonable enough if there were in fact an even 3.5 children per
household. However, since the number of children per household is
distributed integrally, there are a significant number (on the order of
several million) of one child Christian households. Even though only
children are notoriously spoiled and therefore disproportionately inclined
towards being naughty, since it's the holidays we'll be generous and give
them a fifty-fifty chance of being nice. This removes one half of the
single child households from Santa's delivery schedule, which has already
been reduced by the removal of the Orthodox households from the first
delivery run.

   3) Santa's delivery run (speed, payload, etc.): These all suffer from the
dubious supposition that there is only one Santa Claus. The name "Santa" is
obviously either Spanish or Italian, two ethnic groups which are both
overwhelmingly Catholic. The last name Claus suggests a joint German/Italian
background. His beginnings, battling the Burgermeister Meisterburger, suggest
he grew up in Bavaria (also predominantly Catholic). The Kaiser style helmets
of the Burgermeister's guards, coupled with the relative isolation of the
village, suggest that his youth was at the very beginning of Prussian influence
in Germany. Thus, Santa and Mrs. Claus have been together for well over one
hundred years. If you think that after a hundred years of living at the North
Pole with nights six months long that they remain childless, you either don't
know Catholics or are unaware of the failure rate of the rhythm method. There
have therefore been over five generations of Clauses, breeding like Catholics
for over one hundred years. Since they are Catholic, their exponential
population increase would obviously have a gain higher than the world
population as a whole. There have therefore been more than enough new Santas to
overcome the population increase of the world. So in fact, Santa has an easier
time of it now than he did when he first started out.

Santa dead, indeed; some people will twist any statistic to "prove" their
cynical theory.

Yet another rebuttal:
                                REBUTTAL 3

From: egreen#NoSpam.nyc.pipeline.com (Edward Green)

5) That's nonsense.  I repeated the calculation, and the correct figure is
17,500.03 times gravity.  How can we place belief when such an implausibly
high figure is accepted!  The entire concept is obviously deeply flawed and
arises from incorrect method!

Besides, Santa simply realizes all of his alternate quantum states at once.
 Everybody knows that.

People keep defending the existence of Santa Claus:

                                REBUTTAL 4

From: Jerome Elisha <jpse57#NoSpam.gte.net>
Surely the 'esteemed' professional making the analysis means 'forces of
acceleration', and not "centrifugal forces" as stated.  Furthermore, to
accept the ability of reindeer to defy the law of gravity and then bind
them to the remaining laws of physics is an error in argument.

The assertion ignores empirical data - Santa does exist:  one can see
him often during the months leading up to the Big Day.  Indeed, it is a
frequent occurrence to see him on multiple street corners, or in front
of several businesses, at the same time.  Either A) Santa has many
helpers, or B) Santa is capable of numerous manifestations.  In either
case, the acceleration arguments above are not valid, since the
multiplicity of Santas (manifestations or helpers) could easily handle
smaller portions of the task with time left over for cookies and milk.

Arguments A) and B) are both are supported by the different guises he
sports in various countries (Santa Claus, Sinter Klaus, Kris Kringle, et
and by his acknowledged ability to "see you when you're sleeping; he
knows when you're awake".  The decision between A) or B) is left as a
proof for the student.

And yet another rebuttal:

                                REBUTTAL 5
From: Lorenzo Sadun <sadun#NoSpam.fireant.ma.utexas.edu>

I wrote this rebuttal to the physics of santa analysis back in 1993:

If you're going to criticise Santa Claus on physical grounds, you may at
least do it right.

The payload calculations are nonsense.  Adding, say, 1000 stops back at the
North Pole for reloading adds only a few percent to the entire distance
covered, while reducing the payload by a factor of 1000.  This is clearly
the way to go.

The nonuniform distribution of children has a tremendous effect on the
routing.  With sensible routing, the average distance from a good child to
the next good child is only a couple hundred feet in suburban conditions
(this is clearly higher in the country, but is much less in, say, New York
City).  With only .05 miles between average good children, Santa need only
travel at Mach 200, just a little faster than Ulysses.  This reduces the
force of air resistance by a factor of 200, and the power absorbed by the
reindeer by 3000.

(Of course, if Santa stops to give coal to bad children it could slow
things down a bit.  But it appears that increasing population has made
Santa give up that trick.  When was the last time you heard of anybody
getting a lump of coal?)

We all saw the pictures of a smart bomb falling through an Iraqi smokestack
during the Gulf War.  Clearly Santa uses the same technology for toys and
chimneys.  By dropping, say, 100 toys at a time from high altitude, Santa
can reduce his speed by another factor of 10.  While still supersonic, this
is now slightly less than orbital velocity, sparing Santa and his team the
trauma of extreme centrifugal force.

Santa's trip IS a remarkable feat of aeronautics, but please don't say it's

Does anybody wish to make proof or disproof these assertions? -JV

                                REBUTTAL 6

From: Merv <mcripps2#NoSpam.home.com>
As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help
from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) -- I am
pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.

The analysis you sent me about the death of Santa Claus, based on classical
physics, is seriously flawed owing to its neglect of quantum phenomena that
become significant in his particular case.  As it happens, the terminal
velocity of a reindeer in dry December air over the Northern Hemisphere
(for example) is known with tremendous precision.  The mass of Santa and
his sleigh (since the number of children and their gifts is also known
precisely, ahead of time, and the reindeer must weigh in minutes before the
flight) is also known with tremendous precision.  His direction of flight
is, as you say, essentially east to west.

All of that, when taken together, means that the momentum vector of
Mr. Claus and his cargo is known with incredible precision.  An elementary
application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle yields the result that
Santa's location, at any given moment on Christmas Eve, is highly
imprecise.  In other words, he is "smeared out" over the surface of the
earth, analogous to the manner in which an electron is "smeared out" within
a certain distance from the nucleus in an atom.  Thus he can, quite
literally, be everywhere at any given moment.

In addition, the relativistic velocities which his reindeer can attain for
brief moments make it possible for him, in certain cases, to arrive at some
locations shortly before he left the North Pole.  Santa, in other words,
assumes for brief periods the characteristics of tachyons.  I will admit
that tachyons remain hypothetical, but then so do black holes, and who
really doubts their existence any more?

Yours sincerely,

E.B. Davis, Ph.D.

                                REBUTTAL 7
From: eugene#NoSpam.dynagen.co.za (Eugene Griessel)

Physics refutes this.  From "New Scientist" December 1989:

In Search of Schrodinger's Reindeer.

With the festive season upon us, many scientific minds will yet again
be attempting to solve that perennial chestnut, the Travelling Santa
Problem (or TSP). This problem was first brought to our attention by
the child  prodigy, Vernon P. Templeman, in his seminal paper "Please
may I have a bike for Christmas, Daddy" (J. Appl. Window Shopping,
December 1988, vol 7, p 1-122).

In simple terms, the problem boils down to one of speed. How can
Father Christmas visit the homes of all the children in the world in a
single night, albeit 24 hours long? Templeman demonstrated that the
classical (sequential) explanation forces us to invoke
faster-than-light travel, which is somewhat at odds with current

Thus, he argued, we should infer that the Father Christmas effect does
not really exist. This contentious hypothesis was the subject of much
debate at a recent  symposium held at the Santa Fe Institute for
Present Research.

Our initial thoughts were that Templeman had over-estimated the size
of the problem, forgetting that Santa only visits good children. This
would reduce the number of visits by a factor of order 10^9.

However, a simple back-of-the-lab-coat calculation shows that this
renders the problem no more tractable. This threw suspicion on the use
of classical physics.  At this stage, the teachings of our old mentor,
Erwin Schroedinger, came back to us ("Famous people what we claim to
have known, honest", by Matthew Davies and Martin Slaughter, Annals of
Physics, 1983, vol 12, pp 379-381). From a detailed study of reported
phenomena, it became apparent that Santa shared many of the
characteristics of elementary particles, suggesting a quantum
mechanical  interpretation of his behaviour. We have since developed
this theory, and are confident that a quantum mechanical model of
Santa Claus allows many of his observed  properties to be explained,
and several  interesting predictions to be made.

Clearly, viewing Santa as a waveform removes the apparent paradox of
his "presence" being measured in several locations within a short
interval of  time. As the waveform collapses down  in a specific
location (attracted, we suggest, by the Goodness Quantum  number of
the recumbent child) it becomes  perfectly valid to state that a
"visitation"  has occurred.

However, our calculations suggest that the process of measurement (for
example, turning on the bedroom light) will almost certainly lead to a
localised, space-time instability which, in turn, will cause the
waveform to relax and render detection almost impossible.

Once again, this ties in with the  experimental evidence that Father
Christmas is rarely caught delivering. Indeed, on those few occasions
when a sighting has been claimed in the literature ("Mummy, mummy,
there's a strange man in my bedroom" by S. T. U. Peedo, Journal of
Sleepless Nights, 1979, vol 5, p 35), closer scrutiny has often
revealed it to be an imposter wearing a red cloak and beard.

Moreover, the quantum mechanical model predicts that energies involved
in a waveform collapse will result in the  emission of a jet of
sub-atomic particles. Studies of bedroom carpets in the vicinity of
alleged sightings, using an X-mass spectrometer, have often revealed
evidence of mince pion activity; though these have usually been
Hoovered up.

One of the most appealing aspects of our theory is the manner in which
it allows the most likely sites for visitation to be  estimated. These
may be identified from the first derivative of the expectation value

  d (Spot)       |
  d (Fireplace)  | night

It turns out that the distribution of  household chimneys is exactly
that required to act as a diffraction grating for objects of Santa's
predicted wavelengths, focusing the zeroth order onto the bedroom
floor below ("Chimchimmeny, chimchinny, chimchin cheroo", by Bert,
Mar. Popp. 1969).

Yet another predication which agrees with commonly reported
observations  concerns the Christmas Stocking effect. Within
the general theory, the stocking would be expected to act as an
infinite potential well, momentarily capturing the Santa waveform.
The resonance within the stocking is predicted to transfer energy from
any batteries within the well (causing them to run out by Boxing Day)
before collapsing back down to a new ground state characterised by
a tangerine in the toe.

Apart from the successes reported above, the theory makes a number of
predictions about rather low probability events; that is, events
expected to occur in fewer than one hundred homes in the world each
year (for example, a full night's sleep for parents of under-8s; no
clothes given as presents; fairy lights still working from last year).
In order to collect the huge volume of data needed to assess these
rare events, we have decided to appeal to the scientific community for

Well as the few observations available fit the theory, a detailed
experiment to provide quantltatlve.support is now necessary. This
will require a vast amount of data to be collected with observations
from as many global locations as possible.

New Scientist's readers are, therefore, asked to maintain a Yule log
of the events in their domestic laboratories and to send their
results to the authors via the magazine.

Participants are requested to make a note of the following:

(1) Their children's Goodness Quantum number;
(2) The approximate dimensions of their bedroom;
(3) Whether Santa visits and, if so, at what time;
(4) Their address and galactic bspace coordinates (or postcode);
(5) Any evidence of Charm or Strangeness;
(6) Whether Santa is seen to be spinning (needed to check the "No L"
(7) The number of presents left;
(8) The colour of his reindeer's nose (often quoted as red when seen
moving away at speed, but unknown in its rest frame).

On a note of caution, participants are urged not to try to localise
Santa as the delta p. delta x equals or is greater than h
relationship suggests that the energies involved could demolish a
timber frame building.

At a time when Europe is leading the world in fundamental physics
research we hope that this knotty problem can be resolved with this
experiment. The Americans are not far behind, with Senate
approval for the $12 trillion Turkey/ Anti-Turkey Synchronous
Santatron. Let us make sure we cook their goose before
they foil our efforts.

Matthew Davies and Martin Slaughter are physicists
working in the computer industry.

                                 REBUTTAL 8
From: "Brian Hansen" <iblis#NoSpam.rrk.kollegienet.dk>
It is very clear to me, that Santa is not dead. He is unemployed.

In the Evangelium of Markus, it states that it is harder for a rich man to
get into heaven, than it is for at camel to pass through the eye of a
needle. Today, we are by far more rich, than they were when the bible was

                                REBUTTAL 9
Responses from first-year biology students to the Santa essay.

Basically, a normal reindeer, even if it could run/fly at the speed needed,
would be vaporized in .473 thousandths of a second. For Santa's job, each
of his nine reindeer has to carry 39,270 tons, fly for 31 hours at 650
miles per second, and absorb 2955.33 quintillion joules of energy per trip
each! These are some serious reindeer. I would say that natural selection
has provided them with a skin not unlike the composite material used for
the space shuttle. Their cell metabolism has speeded up so much they
release enough heat to create a nifty Star Trek force field around them,
and there's probably enough left over to protect fatso in the sled,
too. And they still have enough energy for reindeer games after the night
is over with (you know what kind of physical attractions can form during
long road trips).

Santa's reindeer can travel faster than ordinary reindeer because Santa
gives them a special enzyme additive to their reindeer chow on Christmas
eve. Now when the reindeer metabolize glucose, instead of getting 36 ATP
per glucose, they get 36 quintillion molecules of ATP. This makes them able
to to pull Santa's sleigh at a speed of 650 miles per second. Since their
internal metabolism is so high, the heat created from air resistance
doesn't affect them. 14.3 quintillion joules of energy is nothing compared
to the amount of internal energy in the form of ATP. There is one special
reindeer that Santa gives more of this enzyme to because this reindeer has
to lead all of the others. In fact, there is so much ATP produced in this
reindeer that it concentrates in his nose, causing his nose to glow like a
light bulb.

Natural selection would have allowed Santa's reindeer to grow a thick, hard
outer layer, and they would have to be perfectly spherical to endure the
pressure of their flight. It is easy for them to deal with the immense
weight of the sleigh because they propel themselves upward and onward with
very strong methane emissions from their digestive tract.

One of the most mystical and interesting aspects of Santa Claus are his
reindeer. One hypothesis to explain the evolution of these special reindeer
could be this: since all living things adapt to their surroundings,
obviously these reindeer have made adaptations to living at the North
Pole. There are many ice cliffs in the North Pole, and many of the deer
kept falling off. However, some of the reindeer were better at avoiding the
sub-freezing waters below the cliffs, and these are the reindeer that
survived. Over thousands of years, these reindeer evolved the ability to
glide and then even fly!

I think that Santa gives his reindeer some injections that make their
enzymes work 6,783,215 times faster. Santa may also give them steroids to
make them stronger. This increase in metabolic activity and increased
strength allows them to fly at such great velocities. Don't tell any little
kids about Santa's involvement in drugs! They need to keep their illusions.

It's silly to assume that the slow process of natural selection could have
produced reindeer with such powers. I suppose that Stephen Jay Gould's
theory of punctuated equilibrium might be one means of producing such a
distinct change from other deer species. However, the obvious answer is
that Santa is a marvel at genetic engineering and has the ability to
manipulate reindeer genes to produce whatever traits he wants.

From: DZEsq#NoSpam.aol.com

                                REBUTTAL 10

As an amateur physicist of some renown, many people have asked me for my
take on the various physics problems raised by the so-called "Santa
Conundrum." I tend to agree with all of the rebuttals, and feel confident
in stating that Santa does indeed exist.

My main reason for stating this, however stems from my own, now frequently
cited Theory of Everything, Ribbon and Bow Theory. See J. Appl. Window
Shopping, December 1995, vol 14, p 47 - 25). Many people have suggested
that I have, with that one peer-reviewed article obsoleted both string and
membrane theory. (See also, "The Eleven Dimensional Aspects of Choosing a
Gift for your Wife," J. Appl. Window Shopping, December 1999, vol 18, p 8 -
4, and "Electron Tunnelling Through Display Cases," same issue, pages 72 -

The author of the original article completely overlooks wormholes. Everyone
knows that one pole of the earth's magnetic field is near the North
Pole. And everyone knows that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. Although
the correspondence between lines of magnetic force and wormholes has not
been widely examined in the literature, one conclusion of the theory of
ribbons and bows is that the two are frequently found co-existing. I have
written a paper on this and sent it to Stephen Hawking for comment, but so
far, he has not responded.

Assuming my theory is correct, then Santa, in each of his quantum states
can enter any number of the infinite number of wormholes near his house
simultaneously, and can make the trip at a leasurely pace, since in effect,
he is only making ONE delivery multiplied X number of times as the number
of good children dictate. Obviously once the problem is reduced to a single
trip, the solution is trivial, and it is intuitively obvious that Santa can
fly his Reindeer at normal FAA speed and height recommendations.

Clearly, this is basic physics, and I do not understand why the original
author has any difficulty at all solving this problem.

W. David Zitzkat
Attorney At Law
Wannabe Physicist

From: Stephen Weinstein <stephenweinstein#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

                                REBUTTAL 11

Department of Applied Physics
North Pole University
Santa's Village, Arctic Ocean
Dear cynic:
Your report that Santa Claus, the reindeer, or the sleigh, would lack
sufficient time to reach every household, would need to carry toys for
every child simultaneously, or would produce sonic booms, experience
concussions, burst into flames, etc., is false.
Santa Claus, the reindeer, and the sleigh travel in polar orbit through
space.  As they are well above the atmosphere, there is no sonic boom, no
friction with the atmosphere, and no heat generation.
They do not stop at each house.  Instead, Mr. Claus drops the presents from
the (still moving) sleigh into the chimneys without stopping the sleigh.
The only time that they have to stop is when they periodically reload (take
on more presents) at the north pole.  As there are no children living
anywhere within a several-thousand mile radius of the north pole, they have
plenty of time to decelerate gradually, and are not injured.
The reason that they travel in a polar orbit and the reason that the toy
factory was built at the north pole was to ensure that they would pass the
toy factory on every orbit and could reload as often as necessary.  They
only need to carry enough presents during each orbit for the deliveries
that they make during that orbit.
However, there is a very real danger that all of us at the north pole face,
which may put an end to the toy distribution system.  Due to global
warming, the polar icecap is melting rapidly.  If this is not stopped, then
our village, including the toy factory, may soon fall into the Arctic
Ocean.  Please devote your time to assisting us with this problem and stop
spreading silly urban legends.
(Stephen) "SuperSteve" Weinstein
Lu-clausian Professor of Orbital Mechanics

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From: Humor Man <humor#NoSpam.ted.org> , Gerald Clough <DONTSPAMclough#NoSpam.texas.net>
Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
The following is one of Dr. Schalmbaugh's Final Test questions for
May 1997.  (Dr. Schalmbaugh,  University of Oklahoma School of Chemical
Engineering, is  known for asking questions such as this on his
final exams.)

May 1997, Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer II Final Exam Question:

"IS HELL EXOTHERMIC OR ENDOTHERMIC?  Support your answer with truth."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law
or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some
mass.  If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass.  So,
at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls
leaving?  I think that  we can safely assume that once a soul gets
to hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, lets look
at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of
these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion,
you will go to hell.  Since there are more than one of these religions
and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project
that all people and all souls go to hell.  With birth and death rates
as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase

Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell.  Boyle's Law
states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay
the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay

Case 1: If hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which
souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will
increase until all hell breaks loose.

Case 2: If hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of
souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell
freezes over.

So which is it?  If we accept the postulate given to me by Theresa
Banyan during my freshman year, "it will be a cold night in hell
before I sleep with you"  and take into account the fact that I still
have NOT succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then case 2
cannot be true.

Thus, hell is exothermic.

The student, Tim Graham, got the only A.

The original version of this joke appeared in Applied Optics, vol. 11, A14
(1972) - reference in p. 106 of "A Random Walk in Science", compiled R L
Weber, published IoP 1973.

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Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the
existence of a "hottest part" implies a temperature difference, and any
marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat
engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool.  This is
obviously impossible. -- Richard Davisson

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From: ekstrom#NoSpam.pacificrim.net (Philip A. Ekstrom)

Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
Whatever the temperature of hell, I can prove that it is isothermal.

We must begin by assuming that there is at least one physicist in hell.  Most
of us can think of a particular example.

Now assume that some portion of hell is out of equilibrium, a bit hotter or
colder than the rest.  If so, then that physicist would build a heat engine
and extract some energy, and use that energy to run a refrigerator.  He would
cool some other part of hell down until it was comfortable.

But it is contrary to the definition of hell that any part of it should be
comfortable.  QED.

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From: Wilbert Dijkhof <w.j.dijkhof#NoSpam.student.utwente.nl>
T2 =    2 degrees Celcius = 275.15 degree Kelvin
T1 =    1 degree  Celcius = 274.15 degree Kelvin

T2-T1 = 1 degree  Celcius =       1 degree Kelvin

=>   1 degree Celius = 1 degree Kelvin

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From: "Ed Kolis" <koliset#NoSpam.email.uc.edu>

Since an object's kinetic energy E = टmvऑ, 
and also, from relativity, E = mcऑ, then टmvऑ = mcऑ.

Canceling the m's, टvऑ = cऑ.

Solving for v, v = औsqrt(2) * c.

Thus, everything with nonzero mass travels at a speed equal to the square
root of 2 times the speed of light.

(This is an excellent example of why you must keep your types of energy
straight during a calculation!)

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