Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or Endothermic (absorbs heat)?

on Aug, 06 2011 16522 views

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington engineering mid-term. The answer was so "profound" that the Professor shared it with colleagues, and the sharing obviously hasn't ceased...

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 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, let us 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 Teresa Banyan 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 sexual relations with her, then, #2 cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze."

This student received the only A. 

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Nerd Season

This truck driver hauling a tractor-trailer load of computers stops for a beer. As he approaches the bar, he sees a big sign on the door saying:

"Nerds Not Allowed -- Enter At Your Own Risk!"

He goes in and sits down. The bartender comes over to him.
"You smell kind of nerdy. What do you do for a living?"

"I drive a truck, and the smell is just from the computers I'm hauling."

"Okay, truck drivers are not nerds," he says and serves him a beer. As he is sipping his beer, a skinny guy walks in with tape around his glasses, a pocket protector with twelve kinds of pens and pencils, and a belt at least a foot too long. The bartender, without saying a word, pulls out a shotgun and blows the guy away. The truck driver is totally shocked.

"Why did you do that?"

"Not to worry, the nerds are overpopulating Silicon Valley and are in season now. You don't even need a license."

The truck driver finishes his beer, gets back in his truck, and heads back onto the freeway. Suddenly, he veers to avoid an accident, and the load shifts. The back door breaks open and computers spill out all over the freeway. He jumps out and sees a crowd already forming, grabbing up the computers.They are all engineers, accountants, and programmers wearing the nerdiest clothes he has ever seen!

He can't let them steal his whole load. So, remembering what happened in the bar, he pulls out his gun and starts blasting away, felling several of them instantly. A highway patrol officer comes zooming up and jumps out of the car screaming at him to stop.

"What's wrong? I thought nerds were in season," says the truck driver.
"Well, sure," says the patrolman. "But you can't bait 'em!"

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