The following is an actual question given on University of Washington chemistry…

The following is an actual question
given on University of Washington
chemistry midterm exam. One
student gave such a “profound”
answer that the professor shared it
with colleagues, which is why we now
have the pleasure of enjoying it as
The official test concluded with a
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. Therefore,
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 us 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 since 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:
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.
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 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. …read more    

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