I got this email the other day and just couldn't help posting it here... 8-)
Is Hell Exothermic? 😈
(for Steve - exothermic means "gives off heat" and endorthermic means "absorbs heat" ) o_|/
Question given on a University of Washington Chemistry midterm: "Is Hell exothermic or endothermic ? Support your answer."
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 thereof. 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'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 all people and 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 renders 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 Jennifer 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 that area, then (2) cannot be true, and so Hell is exothermic.