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Hell Freezes Over

19 Nov

A bit of banter with MrP in the comments of the Sgiathe a Chaise post reminded me of something I read a number of years ago.  Courtesy of the internet – here it is.

A true story.

A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his
graduate students.  It had one question:

Is hell exothermic or endothermic?  Support your answer with a proof.

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or
some variant.  One student, however wrote the following:

First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass.
If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass.  So, at what rate
are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls 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 souls 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 people do not belong to more than one religion, we can
project that all people and 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 in volume in hell.
Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell
to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay
constant.

#1 So, 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
freezes over.

So which is it?  If we accept the postulate given me by Therese Banyan
during Freshman year, and take into account the fact that I still have
not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be
true, and hell is exothermic.

The student got the only A.
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2 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2010 in General Drivel

 

2 responses to “Hell Freezes Over

  1. alan.sloman

    November 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Yes. Can’t fault that logic. Good grading.

     
  2. fatdogwalks

    November 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    MrP kindly provided an alternative version…

    HELL EXPLAINED BY A CHEMISTRY STUDENT

    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:

    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 two 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.”

     

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