Hell Explained by a Chemistry Student

A few days ago, I received the following in my email which purported to be an actual bonus question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student. Whether the information is true or not does not matter. What does matter is the ‘profound’ thought that went in to answering it. For search of a better word to describe the thought processes that put it together I can only say ‘genius.’ To come up with such an answer under the pressure of an exam is ‘genius’ working on all cylinders.

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Before you read the student’s answer, take a few minutes to reflect on the question and sketch out your reply.



Now, without further ado and for your reading enjoyment, here is what the student wrote.

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, which is unlikely.. 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’sLaw 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.’



Author’s Corner: A Meeting Place for Emerging Authors

Welcome to the premier of Author’s Corner!child-and-books-134831705568z

Developing the Creative Mind: It all begins in childhood.

 I am pleased to have as my first guest, Kelly Graham, author of the novel Eyes of the Many. From the moment I began reading Eyes of the Many, I found it difficult to put it down.  Your debut novel is as ingenious as it is a compulsive page turner. Thought provoking and action packed, your novel hits the mark in every way from well developed scenes and memorable characters to delivering underlying weighty themes. And, you managed to it with the light touch of a writer immersed in creating suspense; the result was a delight with an ending that both shocked and satisfied to boot.

Welcome to Author’s Corner, Kelly.

As both a reader and as an author, I have always been interested in how it all began. So, Kelly, how did you get started writing?

It followed after a bout of illness, actually.  I wasn’t able to do very much for a couple of months around this period and so I found myself filling in time by reading fiction novels: something I hadn’t done for quite a few years.  Well, as it turned out, reading wasn’t enough – I began to ask myself the question, “Could I write something like this?” There was only one way to find out!

Do you have a favourite part of writing?

Finally getting on paper the kazillions of ideas that are buzzing around my head – whether a mere chapter or an entire story. It’s like having a mental flush-out.

You probably know my next question. What is your least favourite part of writing?

The inability to sit still and focus for any substantial length of time – I’m a relentless fidget and constantly on the look-out for distractions. (It’s probably why I got into so much trouble at school.) Also, knowing that as soon as I start to concentrate my two children will embark on their next sibling war.  How do they time this so well?

As I stated in my introduction, your thought provoking, action packed debut novel hits the mark in every way from well developed scenes and memorable characters to delivering underlying weighty themes.  What inspired you to write Eyes of the Many? Where did you get the ideas for this story?

I guess you could call Eyes of the Many a lucky dip construction.  While I was hoping to write something within the thriller or horror genres, I really had no specific ideas in mind.  Once I decided that I was going to have a crack at writing a novel, I just figured I’d sit back and wait until the story came to me.  And it did just that, about a week later, and while I was vacuuming of all things.  I guess my brain did a bit of a blind search and just plucked a few random themes from a back room somewhere.  It then pretty much fell straight into place. I ditched the vacuum for a notepad and scrawled out the skeleton for the story and went from there.

Well, I’m sure pleased you “ditched the vacuum” and took up writing. Will there be a sequel to Eyes of the Many?

I’m not sure about this. If something good comes to mind I’m all for it. I guess we will just have to wait and see!

 How would you describe your writing style: In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Being a bit of a control freak, I like to know where I’m going, so that makes me a plotter.  If something new or different comes up which requires me to change course, however, I’m all for it. There is something to be said for a little spontaneity.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? 

Not so far.  My biggest problem is stumbling on the arrangement of a particular sentence or paragraph.  I stubbornly refuse to move on and come back to it later and so this can be time costly.  Usually it gives me another excuse to fidget.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Unbridled Greed by Barry Johnson.  It’s a thriller about medical insurance fraud.  So far I’m impressed with what the author has created out of what might be considered dry subject matter.  Who knew that healthcare could be so hazardous to your health?

Are there certain genres that you are drawn to as a reader?

I’m open to a variety of genres, so long as the story is compelling and well written.  I do lean toward the warped and horrific, however. Stephen King gets me every time. I’d prefer not to ask myself why.

Now that you have written Eyes of the Many and your second novel is underway, what advice would you give to someone about to write their first novel (other than don’t do it)?

Dive in!  Just be mindful of the rocks beneath the surface, because they will be there.

Tell us something about your next project and when you expect it to be released.

I’m currently working on a horror-thriller called Cellular. It’s about a fit young man who unexpectedly suffers heart failure while out jogging one morning. Due to the damage inflicted on the organ, he requires and undergoes a heart transplant procedure. This all goes well but soon after some strange things begin to happen. He begins to have nightmares of brutal murders, senses that someone or something is watching him, and acquires a new talent which seems to have a power of its own. I don’t want to say much more at this point but suffice to say that it will be a lot darker than Eyes of the Many. Scary too – well, at least I hope so anyway.

If all goes well it will be released sometime next year.

What advice do you have for other authors just starting out?

Really look into the marketing and promotional side of things and strategize before releasing your book.

Where can readers find your books? (Print and/or ebook).

Both ebook and print formats of Eyes of the Many may be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore. Links are available on my website www.kelly-graham.com.

Thank you, Kelly. I look forward to reading your next novel Cellular and encourage everyone to check out her  website: http://www.kelly-graham.com