An actual question given on a University test
The following is an actual question given on a University of
Washington chemistry mid term. The answer was so "profound" that the
professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we now have the pleasure of
enjoying it as well.
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic
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, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world
today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their
religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are 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 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. Of course, 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 Ms. Teresa
Banyan 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 still have not
succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then, #2 cannot be true, and thus
I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.
The student received the only "A" given.
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