# Is Hell Endothermic or Exothermic?

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by SwedishFish, Mar 7, 2004.

1. ### SwedishFishConspiratorRegistered Senior Member

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1,908
i can't decide which forum this should go in so it will go here:

The following is an actual question given on University of Iowa chemistry mid term. The answer was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is 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 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 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. 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 to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my freshman year, "... that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you." Taking into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then, No. 2 cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

The student received the only "A" given.

3. ### OzymandiasUnregistered UserRegistered Senior Member

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Interesting reasoning!

5. ### curioucityUnbelievable and oddRegistered Senior Member

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2,429
How glad some people will be seeing this thread 'revived'...... (trust me, there was such thread in this forum and it had gone inactive....)

7. ### spuriousmonkeyBannedBanned

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I wonder is this really happened or if it is one of those things that were made up.

8. ### ShmooThe CzarnaChapkaRegistered Senior Member

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101
I doubt it happened, mostly because I've heard all these "smart aleck kid gets an A for a wise ass answer" stories all the time.

9. ### SwedishFishConspiratorRegistered Senior Member

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1,908
considering how it's not terribly clever, there's no reason for it to be faked.

it's a bonus question anyway. the student got an A for the exam and was probably so confident in his work that he was cocky enough to throw away the extra credit with a fake answer. i've done that on comp sci exams.

10. ### mithrandhirRegistered Member

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swedishfish have u read the passing out lecture given to havard graduates of 2001-its popularly called 'suntan'. equally interesting. am not able to find the text. will post it if i get.

11. ### mithrandhirRegistered Member

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u have a mistake. i am sure this was the only question given in teh exam.-its probably one of the most overused elocution pieces in an engg. institute.