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Exothermic or Endothermic

Posted by gutenberg, on Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:51 pm
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 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, " 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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