[Fwd: Thermodynamics]

David V. Rogers dvrogers@bellatlantic.net
Tue, 26 May 1998 22:23:02 -0400

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Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 12:30:23 +0100
From: Wayne Osentoski <ozzy-o@worldnet.att.net>
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Subject: Thermodynamics
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A thermodynamics professor had written a take-home exam for his
graduate students.  It had just one question: "Is Hell exothermic
(gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?  Support your answer
with a proof."

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 people and 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
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.
Theresa Banyan during my Freshman year, that "It will be a cold night 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 so Hell is exothermic.

The student got the only A.