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Bulletins Bulletin : Published and Discussed
Date: Saturday, February 14, 2004
From: z_rahman
is hell exo- or endo-thermic?

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.

Here it is:

Bonus Question: 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 variant.

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. Most of these religions state
that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since
there is 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
Boyles' 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
During my Freshman year, that " will be a cold day in Hell before
I sleep with you", and taking into account the fact that I still have
not succeeded in having an affair with her and have no chance in the
future, then #2 above cannot be true, and thus: I am sure that Hell is
exothermic and will not freeze over."


People Discussion
(Saturday, February 14, 2004)


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