# Thread: Is hell exothermic or endothermic?

1. ## Is hell exothermic or endothermic?

A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate students. It had one question:

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls 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 souls entering hell, lets 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 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 in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant.

So, 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, than the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.

It was not revealed what grade the student got.

2. Another version:

"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 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 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. Therese 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."

3. I like his thinking.

4. Very smart

I'd love to know what a normal answer to that question looked like

5. If my thermodynamics prof had given me this question I'd have written him a paper on "Why he should get a life and set some sensible bloody questions" (Fortunately he had a big thing about engines so we had loads of questions on that - still hated it tho )

Anyway, I know that thermodynamics is ALL about making asumptions, but this takes the biscuit. For starters you have to decide on which version of hell to use, though going for "The infinate planes of hell" would make it interesting.

Still. I'd be tempted to go for the simple answer - Souls are the fuel for the fires of hell, which give off heat, thus exothermic. Job done

Doubt that would get many marks though.....

6. Slightly off-thread, but that reminds me of the (marketing?) exam question "What is a risk?" to which someone simply answered "THIS is a risk."

7. Originally Posted by mgh0
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. Therese 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."
Surely if you freexe something it loses energy and therefore it is giving it off, so it it exothermic. That means either way, hell is exothermic as they both give off energy.

8. Originally Posted by midzt
Surely if you freexe something it loses energy and therefore it is giving it off, so it it exothermic. That means either way, hell is exothermic as they both give off energy.
Well if whatever chemical process is occuring is creating bonds of more energy than those which are being broken, then energy is being put INTO the "thing" (wooo to scientific terminology) and thus things get colder, but it's endothermic.

I wish it wasn't nearly two years since I did anything about chemical reactions!

9. Our thermodynamics lecturer used to tell that story. Apparently the guy got a first for his use of original thinking

10. Well, the clue is in the name endo = into, exo = out of, thermic = heat (basically).

Thus endothermic takes in energy from its surroundings (making it colder), and endothermic expells energy into its surroundings (making it warmer) - easy peasy

(And it's been about 7 years since I did chemistry )

11. hehe...