Subject: CHEMISTTRY TEST
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 12:04:39 -0600
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.
Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using
Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats 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 at which souls are moving into Hell
and the rate at which 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 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
So which is it?
If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa 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 slept with her last night,
then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any
more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby
proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last
night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."