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Dispatches From The North Pole: Santa’s Bag Of Toys

Typical view from the North Pole Labs.

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of occasional dispatches from Dr. Larry Silverberg, a researcher at NC State who is leading a visiting scholars program at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL). Dr. Silverberg is an expert in unified field theory and is accompanied by four other mechanical and aerospace engineers: Drs. Mohammad Zikry (novel materials), Greg Buckner (medical robotics), Fred DeJarnette (space travel), and Herb Eckerlin (energy conservation).

We’re all really starting to miss North Carolina. It is -35 degrees Celsius (-31 F) this morning at NPL, and I’m craving a chicken biscuit (if I never see gingerbread again, it will be too soon). But I shouldn’t complain. We learned a lot about how Santa is able to fit so many toys onto his sleigh. We knew it was theoretically possible, but it is astonishing to see it in action.

Dr. Zikry is still trying to work out the specifics regarding Santa’s “magic sack” – a sort of nano-toymaker that uses a reversible thermodynamic processor to create toys for good girls and boys on site. As you can imagine, that cuts down significantly on the overall weight of the sleigh (fuel efficiency!). The magic sack uses carbon-based soot from chimneys, together with other local materials, to make the toys by applying high-precision electromagnetic fields to reverse thermodynamic processes previously thought to be irreversible. Simply put, it’s amazing.

We leave for home in the morning. From here on out, Santa and his crew will be too busy with last-minute details to show a bunch of professors around. All in all, our time at NPL has been an eye-opener. We appreciate the opportunity Santa has given us to visit his sleighport and work alongside the elves at NPL. It was a unique learning experience and a tremendous honor. The principles of cold fusion are still a closely guarded secret, but we’ve learned a lot. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve learned that we still have a lot to learn – and that there is still plenty of magic for us to uncover in science. I can’t wait to get home and get started!

Happy holidays!

Note: Previous posts from the series available here, here and here.