Quantcast

The thermodynamics of Hell

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

DavRedf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
290
Reaction score
0
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 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 belief 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 at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate that 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. 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, then

Hell must 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 rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

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."

This student received the only 'A' in the class



David
 

illini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
1,278
Reaction score
0
I doubt the story is true, but I don't care. That is extremely funny! :p
 

DynaSoar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Messages
3,007
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by DavRedf
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 have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.
...
That story is an urban legend with roots in reality. It started with two real scientists having some real fun with real science. The works, arguing whether heaven or hell is hotter, were published in Applied Optics in 1972 and the Journal of Irreproducible Results in 1979 (the actual original article being from around 1960).

http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/hell.asp

Truth is stranger than fiction. Barbara and David at Snopes, the Urban Legends archive, live at the ragged edge of strange.
 

Neil

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
0
Well, if heaven is located above hell, and if heat rises, Heaven must be pretty toasty as well :D

Thats gotta be teh funniest thing since the thread about the helium-blimp attack :D
 

JoJo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2004
Messages
147
Reaction score
0
i've heard that somwhere else but it's still funny:D
 
Top