Funny stuff from long ago.


I received this way back in 2003, I think.  I still think it’s hilarious!

 

Underworld thermodynamics

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington
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 now 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 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,
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
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
breaks loose.

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 Morrison
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.

The student received the only “A” given.

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~ by rebeccaclaire on November 15, 2008.

2 Responses to “Funny stuff from long ago.”

  1. I hate to bring disappointment that the question might be considered valid by some, but if one’s never followed the topics of Creationist Science Fairs then for humor alone….. ( http://objectiveministries.org/creation/sciencefair.html ).

    The same people who brought us Zounds! http://objectiveministries.org/zounds

    we sorta keep an eye on what the creation groups do in my line of work.

  2. MORE!
    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/26/creationist-dioramas.html

    http://www.tccsa.tc/fair/2007/

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