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The Science of Christmas

Christmas is a time of mystery and magic – and nothing stimulated the enquiring scientific mind more than the unknown or the unexplained. As such, exploring how some of the wonders of Christmas have come to be is an enticing proposition.

In the video below, two professors from New Zealand’s Auckland University of Technology, Drs Steve Ponting and Allan Blackman, take on the challenge and attempt to unravel the science and mathematics behind questions such as:

  • How does Santa drop off gifts to hundreds of millions of homes in a 24-hour period?
  • Why does no-one see Santa on Christmas Eve? Does he use stealth technology; cloaking perhaps?
  • How does Santa fit down a chimney? (Maybe a follow-up question is needed now that so few homes contain fire places)
  • What makes Rudolph’s red nose glow in the dark?

Whether you’re looking for a viable explanation to provide to your children this Christmas season, or simply want to determine whether any of this magic can be explained through what we know about physics and biology, this clip is worth a watch.

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