Dr. Schambaugh, of the University of Oklahoma School of
Chemical Engineering, Final Exam question for May of 1997. Dr. Schambaugh is
known for asking questions such as, "why do airplanes fly?" on his final exams.
His one and only final exam question in May 1997 for his Momentum, Heat and Mass
Transfer II class was: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's
Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the
"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 we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not
Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls
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, then 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 souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we
can expect the number of souls in hell to increase
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. Two options
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
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 quote given to me by Theresa Manyan during 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
Option 2 cannot be true...Thus, hell is exothermic."
The student, Tim Graham,
got the only A.