Team of Experts


Dr. Theodore Mangrove has been on hiatus for the last seven years on a small island in the South Pacific, conducting research to determine the validity of James Thurber's claim "it is better to have loafed and lost than to have never loafed at all." However, he has generously taken time off from his tireless research to answer the following question regarding the physics of Hell:

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

"I began my approach to this question using Boyle's Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. However, after much thought, I shifted my approach to a basic consideration of mass.

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, 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 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 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. Crystal Pamphlet during my tenure at Yale, "...that it will be a cold day 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 thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze."

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