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
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
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"