# e-Nagar

## November 11, 2005

### Is hell exothermic or endothermic?

Filed under: Humor — pegasus @ 4:19 PM

The following is an actual question given on University of IOWA chemistry
mid-term.

The answer was so “profound” that the professor shared it with his colleagues,
which is 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 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 Ms. Teresa Banyan
during my Freshman year, “…that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep
with you,” and taking 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
Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

The student received the only “A” given.