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Thread: University Physics Exam

  1. #1

    University Physics Exam

    The following is supposedly 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 when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some

    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
    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 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


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    That has been around in a number of variations for a long time, but I very seriously doubt it was actually on a UW physics or chemistry exam.

    Funny? Yeah!

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