The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington
chemistry mid-term exam. 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…

Here is the “Bonus Question” on the exam: “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
when it expands and heats 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 at which
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. Most of these religions state that if you are not a
member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is 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 (a girlfriend
of mine 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 slept with her last night,
then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and
has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it
is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct…leaving only
Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why,
last night, Teresa kept shouting “Oh my God.”

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY A ”

the hamster is laughing her head off

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