The Science of Christmas

11th December 2011

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

It’s a beautiful poem, but have you ever wondered about how Father Christmas could possibly deliver all those presents in one night?

How much would Santa’s sleigh actually weigh?

And how much over-the-limit would Santa be once he’s drunk all those brandies?

Find out on the Science Show, tomorrow, from 6-7pm.



Also, on the experimental side of things, Grace and I (Emma) decide to risk the wrath of our housemates and set things on fire. Well, more specifically, Christmas puddings.

Yellow Flame - Vitamin B

Why did we do this? To see why different flames burn different colours, of course.

Not just to burn things.


(It was fun though!)

Purple Flame - Potassium Chloride

This was the left-overs after we’d conducted our ‘experiment’… Our poor housemates. At least we washed up.

Tune in to the live show (or the podcast) to hear how we did this, and you can surprise your family/friends with multi-coloured Christmas puddings too. You never know, you might just learn a little science along the way too…



Santa’s reindeers would actually all be female. This is because once they have mated, male reindeers actually lose their antlers! This would make Rudolf a Rachel…
On the subject of Rudolf, he would actually have to have a infection to cause his red nose, not sure he would make it off the runway…

Wobbly Jelly!

Why does jelly wobble? Well it’s actually because it has gelatin in, this molecule is a deriviative of collagen. When warmed up these molecules are like long worms which when cooled down can link together and become like a giant net.
When knocked the energy in the movement can be carried right across the jelly via these supermolecules to the other side, causing it to wobble.

– Student Science
Holidays are coming!
Want to know how to crush your wasted cans? Listen on!

– How many times can you fold a piece of paper?
You can actually fold a piece of paper up to 12 times, as American schoolgirl Britney Gallivan has demonstrated. Read a little more here:

The URN Science Show team at Christmas