According to the science we learn in schools, and the laws of Physics – Santa should not be able to deliver presents to all the children in the world! Because has so many presents to deliver, over such long distances, he would have to fly at enormous speeds. The faster he goes, the greater the air resistance. In fact he would need to travel so fast that he would completely vaporise due to air resistance! Either that or he would be ripped to pieces by gravitational forces!
It is fortunate that he is resistant to these forces! Also because he travels so high up – the presents weigh less due to lower gravitational forces!
Scientists have also calculated that every reindeer pulling his sleigh needs to eat as many as 7.5 billion billion carrots. This is so they have enough energy to work against the 56 billion newtons of drag acting on the sleigh!!
GCSE scientists, you need to know all about forces and motion, and be able to explain Newton’s Laws. For help with this, try our new guide, “How to work with Newton’s Laws”. The guide includes an explanation of Newton’s first, second and third Laws. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.
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