April 17 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, December 22, 2013
They are questions that have been asked by inquisitive children for centuries that parents have struggled to answer.
However, questions like “why does Rudolph have a red nose?” and “how does Santa visit every home on the planet in one night?” were partly explained at the weekend.
Dozens of families were entertained and informed on Saturday for a special show about the science of Christmas.
Scientist Belinda Parker offered up some answers to some of the festive season’s biggest mysteries at the Curve auditorium at the Forum in Norwich.
Children and parents made Christmas hats out of newspaper and were shown a number of interactive experiments to get them interested in science.
Ms Parker said that in order for Father Christmas to deliver to 842 million homes across the world in 24 hours, he would need to travel 1,270 miles per second and his reindeer would have to be very aerodynamic. She also demonstrated that Santa must use centripetal force to stop him from falling out of his sleigh.
Rudolph’s red nose was explained by air friction and his nose getting too hot as he guides Santa’s sleigh and the other reindeer to drop off presents to every home on the globe.
She also offered theories as to how Father Christmas can squeeze through small holes and how he does not burn himself when he comes down the chimney.
“We have had a look at how Santa and his reindeer use magic to deliver presents on Christmas day, but he also uses a little bit of science to help them along,” she said.
Ms Parker finished the science of Christmas show by showing the children how to wake up their parents and grandparents on Christmas Day by using an empty camera film case, some water and a Alka-Seltzer tablet.