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The Thermodynamics of Hell

(Note: this is a joke, not fact)

The following is an exam question reportedly given on a University of ******** 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
_____________________________________________________
Mike
 

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Fernando Coelho said:
Oh thanks, next you're gonna tell me there is no Santa. :santa:
Reminds me of Groucho and Chico Marx reviewing a contract in "A Night at the Opera":

Otis P. Driftwood: It's all right, that's in every contract. It's what they call a sanity clause.

Fiorello: You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause.
 

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Reminds me of another classic

Introductory Chemistry at Duke has been taught for about a zillion years by Professor Bonk (really), and his course is semi-affectionately known as 'Bonkistry'. He has been around forever, so I wouldn't put it past him to come up with something like this. Anyway, one year there were these two guys who were taking Chemistry and who did pretty well on all of the quizzes and the midterms and labs, etc., such that going into the final, they had a solid A.

These two friends were so confident going into the final that the weekend before finals week (even though the Chem final was on Monday), they decided to go up to UVirginia and party with some friends up there. So they did this and had a great time. However, with their hangovers and everything, they overslept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Duke until early monday morning.

Rather than taking the final then, what they did was to find Professor Bonk after the final and explain to him why they missed the final. They told him that they went up to UVa for the weekend, and had planned to come back in time to study, but that they had a flat tire on the way back and didn't have a spare and couldn't get help for a long time and so were late getting back to campus. Bonk thought this over and then agreed that they could make up the final on the following day. The two guys were elated and relieved.

So, they studied that night and went in the next day at the time that Bonk had told them. He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet and told them to begin. They looked at the first problem, which was something simple about molarity and solutions and was worth 5 points. "Cool" they thought, "this is going to be easy." They did that problem and then turned the page. They were unprepared, however, for what they saw on the next page. It said:

(95 points) Which tire?
 
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