The Thermodynamics of Hell

@swak1962 (129)
United States
December 5, 2006 6:20pm CST
I found this and just had to share! The following is an actual exam 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 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 most 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 still have not succeeded in having that event take place, 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.
2 people like this
7 responses
• United States
6 Dec 06
hahahaha oh my thats good. It sounds like the kind of bullshit i right for reports. I just wish mine were that good!
1 person likes this
@swak1962 (129)
• United States
6 Dec 06
I wonder if Hell has frozen over by his fourth year? :-?
1 person likes this
@vikceo (1301)
• India
21 Dec 06
well interesting stuff. i have read it earlier too but could not resist to read again. thanks for posting it here.
1 person likes this
@harshadod (858)
• India
6 Dec 06
An excellent piece. Original and witty. More of such original work is required especially with respect to heaven and hell.
1 person likes this
@medooley (1875)
• United States
6 Dec 06
I have seen this many many times before, but everytime I read it I get a great big chuckle out of it. Thanks for sharing it.
1 person likes this
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
6 Dec 06
That's awesome! I love it!!!
1 person likes this
@crosschk (822)
• United States
6 Dec 06
I have read this before and I like it every time I read it
1 person likes this
@alamode (3073)
• United States
27 Sep 07
Thats our U-Dub... what is considered to be quirky somewhere else is allowed, expected, and expanded upon here. If I hadn't married young, I would have gone there! I missed out on that, but have still had a good time with what I chose to do instead!