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Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?


I got this email and I just had to say something about it! Warning: you must be a geek or a total nerd to appreciate this post.

Here goes:

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 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 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 God."


====== MY REBUTTAL ======

Since I am a geek...forgive me for saying But I think there is something wrong with the guy's proof. Let me point out where he is wrong and in effect, let me lay out my answer on the same question about hell...even if the kid is undeniaby witty I really think he is wrong...If there is anything wrong in my proof please let me know...

He assumed souls have mass and Hell exists :-) that means his explanation is valid only with a 25% probability. If souls were without mass, then Hell will not be affected by Boyle's Law no matter how many souls enter or at whatever rate it comes in.

Combined Gas Law should be used instead of Boyle's Law since it is not certain whether Hell is expanding, constant in volume or shrinking...additionaly, if a soul does not have mass then it must be energy, or anti-matter. (since it follows that without mass then it is not matter, under what we know in physics at the moment. )

If it is energy then by E=mc2, it gains mass exponentially as souls enter Hell. It wil become more saturated and will exhibit the opposite of entropy, by increasing energy. If the Hell space is finite, or rate of entry of souls is higher and this continues for all eternity , Hell will behave like a star and then progress like a black hole and will collapse on itself due to the ever-increasing gravity that additional souls generate (assuming there is either infinite supply of souls or a
critical point is reached).

Therefore hell will exist only for a finite amount of time, until a new hell is created out of Heaven (because souls will have energy too and Heaven will be as filled as Hell is).

This means Heaven and Hell are interchangeable, depending on what time of the Universe your soul is accepted. Unless of course both implode at
the same time.

Additionally, during the time that Hell or Heaven exists and it will absorb souls and yet it will produce energy by itself too ---- thereby proving Reincarnation and recycling of souls = since energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

Interestingly, if souls are anti-matter, then the mystery is if souls are in the body - a matter, why do we exist and not explode? There must be a reason why not ( a quantum physics definition of God as an observer and definer of sets in which we exists, mathematically of course).

The assumption too is that change in one form of energy to another is never a 1-1 relationship, and entropy is that, heat energy is always a by-product. If souls entry into hell does not result in heat enrgy then it cannot be inferred if hell will produce an excess of heat energy to be exothermic, neither can it be inferred to be endothermic if changing from one soul to another is a perfect change without
entropic problems.

Or more realistically, souls may not be anti-matter. If souls as energy cannot be detected, then this means that it must be somthing else and everything we have for foundations is false. Or simply put, souls do not exist, nor heaven nor hell. :-)

Therefore the question of endothermic or exothermic is irrelevant, and the teacher just wants a cool question for an exam. I'll get an "F" and I can tell the teacher "go to hell". By then, I would have proved Hell's existence metaphysically and I can say I will be as exothermic in as much as the teacher will be.


=== Addendum, posted 27-Feb-2005 ===

Such I am such a geek, last night I was thinking about my theory just before I sleep. yes it did pre-occupy me that I used it to get myself drowsy!

My proposal that souls do not have mass comes from the assumption that there is no detectable disparity between the mass of a dead person and a living person, and the definition of soul to be that which leaves the body after death.

I realized that I should clarify that my concept of soul as energy is in the assumption that it is pure energy (something which the current state of physics cannot yet produce artificially.)

If energy is contained in any matter or within atoms or even sub-atomic particles, it will possess a slight mass and my proof will crumble because Hell will have mass, and will tend to become exothermic at first but then progress toward the black hole concept... once it nears implosion (I think ...), it will start to cool down. When it does, it can behave endothermically, unless the system is not stable that it will collapse... creating a big bang of another universe on the other side of the the current universe (This is the Bubble Universes theory wherein our universe is just on of the bubbles created from the "Big Bang" which is just a black hole sucking in space from a bigger universe and creating a universe within it in effect.

In this sense, Hell, if it is a physical plane, can exist on multiple universes or in multiple planes... Hence the several versions of Hell... Interestingly, if space can be folded, according to Einsteins theory, you can now have one Hell existing in a different Time and Space and multiple Hells (or Heavens) in different spaces and times, or worsed, Hells interconnecting like a network but spanning Time. That makes Hell exist outside of the dimensions of our space-time...


Interestingly, if Hell is a blackhole, the experience within a blackhole may resemble literary sources about Hell. The circular motion of sucking in space stabilizes the walls of the black hole and this may create a certain view of space plastered along these spinning walls of space-time... it could contain images of perhaps one's past among other images of life - stretched and morphing, ala Dali... (if souls can "see" without using light). The souls experience is that of being twisted and stretched and mashed and with so intense a pressure perhaps gazillions of pascal per square nanometer even more...

Interesting huh? Well, everything is arbitrary at best here...

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posted by Jdavies @ 2/26/2005,


At 3/09/2009 05:11:00 PM, Blogger Luis Sisamon said...

I was looking for the original question (to send to a friend) I just landed on your page and had a good laugh.

Salamat for the fun!!!


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The Author


Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.

About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.


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