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Thermodynamics of Hell

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
You know, I think I met this girl, or at least a few of her friends.....


The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington
chemistry mid term.

The answer by one student was "so profound" that the professor shared it
with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have
the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question on the exam: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or
endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law,
(gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we
need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they
are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to
Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different
religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state
that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since
there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to
more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth
and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to
increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's
law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay
the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are
added.This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls
enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until
all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in
Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa Morrison
during my freshman year, "...that it will be a "Cold day in Hell before I
sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not
succeeded in sleeping with her, let alone having sexual relations (my
ultimate goal), then #2 cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is
exothermic and will not freeze.

The student received the only "A" given.
post #2 of 2
AWESOME, Mr. Spicoli!
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