BY A CHEMISTRY STUDENT
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
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
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+.