> The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona
> chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student.
> 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, which is unlikely.. 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 AN A+.