Trinity physicists have potentially answered the age-old question of how Santa Claus manages to deliver billions of presents every year. The answer, they say, lies in quantum physics.
Prof John Goold and Dr Mark Mitchison – both physicists in Trinity – say that Father Christmas may be using quantum mechanics, which allows Santa, his reindeers and his sleigh to be in many places at once. This is called superposition.
In a press statement, Goold said: “Experiments show that these weird states describe tiny things – like atoms – but also much larger things too. In fact, an important part of our job as physicists is trying to put bigger and bigger objects into superpositions, which we think will help us to build ultra-fast computers and a more secure Internet in the future. But we still haven’t learned to do it as well as Santa can!”
“There is little doubt now to quantum physicists that Santa is exploiting what we know as ‘macroscopic quantum coherence’, which is precisely the same resource used by cutting-edge quantum technologies to outperform technologies based on classical physics”, he added.
A media spokesperson for Santa declined to comment on the theory, citing commercial sensitivity.
However, one of Santa’s elves, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the researchers were not “far off the mark”, but that they needed to factor in the importance of “Christmas magic”, a field of science that has been largely overlooked until recent years.
Mitchison said in a press statement: “When we observe a quantum object, we only ever find it in one place at a time. This tells us that superpositions are very fragile. Just looking at them causes them to ‘collapse’, which means the object ends up in just one place and all the other possibilities vanish.”
“We are pretty sure that Santa has developed some advanced technology to protect his quantum superposition and stop such a collapse from ruining Christmas”, he said. “But – just in case – we advise children the world over to go to bed early on Christmas Eve and suggest they don’t try to catch a glimpse of him and risk collapsing his merry superposition!”
Many across the country breathed a sigh of relief in late November, after Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed to the Dáil that Santa had been deemed an essential worker and that he would not be subjected to travel restrictions when entering Ireland’s airspace.
He added that Santa had confirmed to the government that he will be travelling to Ireland on December 24th.