Monday, 11 January 2010

Hell …

Hell must be isothermal; for otherwise the resident engineers and physical chemists (of which there must be some) could set up a heat engine to run a refrigerator to cool off a portion of their surroundings to any desired temperature.
Henry Albert Ben



A recent blog discovery for me has been that of 'Chairman Bill' of The Thoughts of Chairman Bill. His banner headline warns that his blog, "May contain traces of satire, irony and sarcasm." Add to that a large dose of irreverence and you begin to realise that almost every one of his superbly written posts will make your hair stand on end.

Your reasons for bristling may be very different to mine, but I can promise that you won't be bored. I am particularly enamoured of the way he uses the English language, and his vast vocabulary.

Reading his latest offering, 'The Chairman's Sunday Sermon', I was reminded of the joke article that has done the rounds of the internet for some time, the one about whether Hell can be considered 'exothermic' or 'endothermic'. If you missed it, I reproduce it for you below. Interestingly enough, the outcome is easily changed, and I have chosen to repeat only one scenario.


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!"



If you assume Teresa is still holding out, you can change the outcome to suit yourself.

Be happy ...



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jinksy said...

What a cheery post for a chilly Monday! Thanks!

Chairman Bill said...

Fletch - you are too kind.

Thumbelina said...

Whilst not actually believing that souls burn forever in a torturous and hot hell, I absolutely love this item and did the first time I saw it. The logic is perfect.
I hope he and Theresa are still together and long may Satan ice skate to work....

I must check Bill out. Thanks for the pointer!

Fletch said...

Thanks, Penny. I fleetingly considered doing it in verse (only joking!), but I'm glad it cheered you up in your particular 'hellish' state of affairs (shucks - couldn't resist the tilt at your current discomfort). Hope the Gas Fitter arrives on Tuesday as promised!

Nothing to do with kindness, Bill. A good read in Blogland is worthy of note ...

YAY, Cath! Glad you came out of retirement. Brilliant observation about Satan ice skating to work. That 'wicked' thought hadn't crossed my mind ...

Thumbelina said...

Well, I had to come out of retirement for that one. The temptation was just too great... ;0)

Shrinky said...

This is absolutely fabulous, if Theresa ever tires of him, please send him on to me!



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