Spooked by ghosts? Scared of vampires? No need to fear, say scientists who have applied the laws of physics and math to disprove such frightening phenomena, although they concede there could be a kernel of scientific truth to stories about zombies.
People who report ghostly encounters often claim they feel a sudden chill when in the presence of spirits. Authors Costas Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi argue there's likely a rational explanation. Their recent investigation of the famous "Haunted Gallery" at Hampton Court Palace near London found the gallery contained pockets of cold air due to drafts near concealed doors.
"These pockets of cold air can exist in any room no matter how hot it is," Efthimiou, a University of Central Florida physics professor, told Discovery News. "These pockets may not be actually really cold; all they have to be is colder than the rest of the room since we feel differences in temperature, not absolute temperatures."
The myth that ghosts can walk through walls is also impossible, according to the researchers’ paper, which was recently published on the physics website arXiv. Walking requires placing a force on the floor, which would exert an equal and opposite force in return. Passing through walls, however, would mean that ghosts could not apply any force, so the myth is false.
Vampires also bite the scientific dust.
According to legend, vampires need to feed on human blood. Fang-struck victims then turn into vampires, thus supposedly continuing the cycle. Using geometric progression, Efthimiou and Gandhi calculate that it would only take a few years for vampires, feeding once a month, to wipe out humanity.
The vampire population would forever be on the rise, while the human population would continue to decrease at an ever-increasing rate.
This is one if my favorite holidays of the year! Too bad I didn't have time to carve pumpkins this year.
The kids will have a blast getting all dressed up - then they'll go out to trick-or-treat. Later on, we'll be off to visit family members around town to check out their decorations, jack-o-lanters and costumes... and of course to show off our costumes and get more loot!