Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is Hell exothermic or endothermic?

I stole this off a friend's Facebook page. It was too good not to share.

The following is supposedly an actual question given in a university chemistry exam. The answer by one student was so profound that the professor shared it with colleagues.

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 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 Gibbons 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!"

This student received the only "A".

I love hearing stories about kids who find roundabout ways to ace their exams. For instance, my professor told us that a friend of his in college passed a true or false exam like this:

Are the following questions true or false?

The student answered: Yes

And walked out of the exam that his classmates spent over an hour laboring over. When he received an "F", he protested his case to the Dean. And he won. The professor was instructed to give him an "A".

I love things like this. They just prove that there is some hope left for humanity after all.


  1. I'm not sure why this post won't follow my normal formatting... it's kind of annoying me...

  2. I totally feel your pain, blogger's wacky formatting drives me nuts on a semi-regular basis. I do think that this font is easier to read than the regular font, though.