[Paleopsych] Chemistry Mid-Term: Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic

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Fri Jan 28 16:24:05 UTC 2005

Chemistry Mid-Term: Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic

The following is supposedly 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: 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 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 

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, "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."


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