Dr. Schlambaugh, a senior

Dr. Schlambaugh, a senior lecturer at the Chemical Engineering

Department,University of Oklahoma, is known for posing questions on

final exams like: Why do airplanes fly?

In May a few years ago, the Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer exam

paper contained the question:

Is Hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof.

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyles Law or

similar. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we must postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass.

If they do, then a mole of souls also must have a mass. So, at what rate

are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think

we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it does not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for souls entering Hell, lets look at the different religions that

exist in the world today. Some religions say 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 people do not belong to more than one

religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With

the birth and death rates what they are, we can expect the number of

souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of

change in the volume of Hell. Boyles Law states that in order for the

temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass

of the souls and volume needs to stay constant.

[Answer 1] So, if Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at

which souls enter Hell, then the temperature in Hell will increase until

all Hell breaks loose.

[Answer 2] Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the

increase in 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 Banyan

during freshman year) that itll be a cold day in Hell before I sleep

with you, and taking into account that I still have not succeeded in

having sexual relations with her, then [Answer 2] cannot be correct;

…… thus, Hell is exothermic.

The student got the only A.

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