Santa Claus is preparing for his journey around the world after being given clearance from the Government for international travel during the pandemic.
Mr Claus is classed as an essential worker and is exempt from Covid-19 quarantine restrictions.
Now, Irish researchers investigating how he delivers billions of presents in the space of one night are advising children to go to bed early, to avoid catching a glimpse of Mr Claus and jeopardising his operation.
Michael Fitzgerald, air traffic controller based in Shannon, said conditions are looking good for a safe journey this evening.
“The good news is that the weather forecast for tonight is good, clear skies, dry,” he said.
“The controllers, as they do every year, will make sure that Santa’s arrival is well looked after, we’ll make sure that the air space is clear, all the airplanes are out of the way and he can continue on his path for the night.”
Mr Fitzgerald said Mr Claus usually arrives in Ireland on the west coast first: “Tonight now, just after midnight usually, we would be keeping an eye out for him, and he’s usually coming straight in off the west coast deep out over the Atlantic, you see him coming in roughly in the the direction from Iceland.”
With Mr Claus set to deliver presents to 2.2 billion children around the world over the next 24 hours, researchers at Trinity have put their heads together to figure out how he does it.
The newest theory, according to Professor John Goold and Dr Mark Mitchison, is that Mr Claus is using quantum mechanics to deliver his gifts.
The researchers say that, in a nutshell, quantum mechanics allows objects, including Santa and his reindeer, to be in many places at the same time.
It is this key ingredient that allows for his extraordinarily efficient delivery on Christmas Eve.
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
“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,” Prof Goold, Assistant Professor in Physics at Trinity said.
Although researchers now believe Mr Claus uses quantum physics to bring gifts to all the children in the world on the same night, they still do not understand exactly how he does it.
“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,” Dr Mark Mitchison said.
“We are pretty sure that Santa has developed some advanced technology to protect his quantum superposition and stop such a collapse from ruining Christmas.
“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!”