Saturday, 24 December 2016
Santa speed calculations, NORAD tracking and links to Xmas games
Time for this year's Santa Calculations, which I first published back in 2006 and then updated in 2010. This year I'm still using 7 billion as the world population because the cocktails are already at work.
Firstly, here's the link to the Santa tracking system created by NORAD.
For those of you who are more interested in the technology of Santa, NORAD's FAQs provide the following:
I've again used the Joel Potischman and Bruce Handy calculations as the basis for the speed calculations, with my own adaptations:
The most notable adjustments applied are:
- Santa delivers no gifts to naughty children (not even coal)
- Naughty to nice ratio is 1:9
- As confirmed by NORAD, one Santa distributes all of the gifts.
- There is only one family per household.
- Santa bypasses non Santa belief system houses.
- Reindeer have recently eaten fresh magic acorns.
- World population = 7.06 billion
- Children under 18 = 2.353 billion (Hmm may be higher)
- Global Santa based belief systems: 33%
- Max children requiring delivery therefore 784 million
- Children per household: 3.5 (may seem high?)
- Number of households requiring distribution 224 million
- Naughty to nice factor applied but not many all naughty households
- Remove all naughty households (25% 0f 10%) = 5.6 million
- Eastern orthodox using Jan 5 instead of Dec 25 = 16 Million
- Target Households = 202 million on Dec 25
- Estimated child bed time 21:00 (9pm) with 7 hours sleep.
(child sleep duration on Dec 24 may also require revision)
Gives circa 31 hours (24+7) for all deliveries
Time is 1860 mins or 111,600 seconds
Average number of homes to visit per second = circa 1810.
So average delivery per household is 552 milliseconds, which is why Santa normally appears a bit blurry (I previously thought it was the sherry)
Land surface minus Antarctica is around 79 million square miles. Distribute destinations evenly = 0.7 miles between households creating a total distance of circa 110 million miles.
So 110 million miles in 31 hours = 3.6 million miles an hour or circa 1000 miles per second or Mach 4770 at a linear speed.
This explains Rudolph's red nose because of air resistance creating around 20 quintillion Joules of energy per second, which would convert a non reindeer nose to charcoal at such energy levels. I think the acceleration and deceleration per household may also need some examination.
Luckily Santa has lots of special powers so these mere physics facts are no problem to such a superhero.