Posted by PM on January 08, 192002 at 11:14:34
Hell ... exothermic or endothermic?
The following is an actual question given on 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 can now enjoy it as well.
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
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 soul 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:
So which is it?
The student received the only "A".