"Hell" -- humor really!

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From:Victoria Baker <vbaker60@yahoo.com>
To:HistoNet Server <HistoNet@pathology.swmed.edu>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi Everyone!

I received this from my former college advisor, and it
is pretty funny.  It was an actual question given on a
University of Washington chemistry mid-term.  The
answer of one very innovative and intelligent student
was worth sharing.

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 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 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, lets 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

Now, we look at the rate of change in 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
give 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

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. 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.

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