• # Thread: Question on Chemistry Mid-Term in University of Washington

1. ## Question on Chemistry Mid-Term in University of Washington

 I read this a couple of minutes ago and thought it was pretty cool 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 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 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 two 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 AN A+

2.  I stopped reading when he said we can safely assume no souls leave hell.

3.  That is freakin' HILARIOUS!!! At first I was taking it all serious, thinking "Well, all these different religions aren't referring to the same Hell.. ", and then suddenly I hit the last 3 words of Possibility 1 and started laughing. Brilliant!!!

4.  An oldie, but still a goodie. I think you might have pissed off Omnis.

5.  What makes you think that?

6.  Your whiny response to a light-hearted post.

7.  They're drawing conclusion about a cross-cultural myth based on the catholic definition of hell. I'm not offended. It's old as the internet and I laughed the first time I read it. Matching logical conclusions with old sayings, I understand, is the point of the joke. But if someone makes an incorrect generalization at the start of the joke, it's hard to get through the strawman. What do you say when you wake up in the middle of the night and see your TV floating across the room? Drop it N*****. Y u mad? I thought all black people steal.

8.  Hilarious. I thought it was supposed to be an actual real question/answer at first lol Was like "wtf would they ask that nonsensical question?" lol Funny though.

9.  I think it's funny mostly because of how in-depth he went about a question that's nonsensical in the first place because it has so many variables of unknown values. The last paragraph was especially funny. It takes guts to write stuff like that for a professor to see.

10.  I don't think it was real.

11.  Why not? I can imagine a bonus question like that being asked, and a student giving some smart-ass answer like that, and the teacher finding it funny and giving the student credit for it.

12.  Good point, I suppose it could be thrown in there to see how well they handle odd questions which don't really have an answer. Although it would be a subjective evaluation.

13.  Maybe, but when I first saw it I assumed it was a simple question to which the answer is exothermic, since Hell involves a lot of burning, and the burning process involves an exothermic reaction.

14.  Yeah but.... hell isn't real. And there isn't really enough information given in any texts as to how it operates and if souls can burn or not etc.

15.  It isn't real but the images portraying hell usually involve fire, from what I've seen at least. It's like, someone might ask, "is Harry Potter a male?" and the answer would be yes, since he's a male in that fictional world, even though he doesn't actually exist. lol I guess someone might have answered something like 'Neither, because hell isn't real.'

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