WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ever wondered how Santa Claus can travel around the world in just one night on his reindeer-pulled sleigh and deliver toys to all the children?
"He exploits the space-time continuum," says Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University.
Santa's magic may go far beyond merely traveling across 200 million square miles (322 million sq km) to visit hundreds of millions of homes of believing children in just one night, Silverberg said.
"He understands that space stretches, he understands that you can stretch time, compress space and therefore he can, in a sense, actually have six Santa months to deliver the presents," Silverberg told Reuters.
"In our reference frame it appears as though he does it in the wink of an eye and in fact there have been sightings of Santa, quick sightings, and that's in our reference frame, but in Santa's reference frame he really has six months".
Silverberg said his research has established that Santa does not, as commonly thought, carry enough presents for each child in his sleigh. "How could he?" Silverberg asked.
"We believe that he uses nanotechnology to grow the presents under the tree and really, what he's done, is he's figured out how to turn what we call irreversible thermo-dynamic properties into reversible ones and so he really starts with soot, candy, other types of natural materials, he puts them under the tree and he actually grows them in a reverse process to create the presents, wrapping and all."
And then there's the age-old question that Santa has to address every year -- who's been naughty and who's been nice?
"We believe, that there are large antennas miles long under the snow up at the north pole and we think the grid-spacing is in the order of millimeters so that you can receive radar-type signals," Silverberg said.
Santa's trip takes in all continents and all time zones. Silverberg says his sleigh is equipped with an onboard sleigh guidance system.
His reindeer, says Silverberg, are genetically bred to fly, balance on rooftops and see in the dark.
"It's certainly a worthy thing to spend time on and it has all sorts of ramifications in everyday life," Silverberg said.
Editing by Maggie Fox and Sandra Maler