A University exam question

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a chemistry mid-term exam at the University of Washington. 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 ge ts 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 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 stated 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 2 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."

'course it's true. 'appened 'bout '78
I rather like the philosophy examination story, where question one (or twelve or whatever) was "Exemplify the concept of risk."

One candidate wrote "This is", folded up his papers, handed them in and walked out. The punch-line is they gave him a first - clever b----d. :wink:
Heard another similar tale about a chap who was attempting to gain a place at Sandhurst. Having been asked to write an essay on 'The Most Daring Thing I Have Done', he simply wrote the one liner - 'This is the most daring thing I have done'

Not sure if the guy got anywhere or not but its a funny story anyhow.
This actually was an end of year geography paper that I sat.

It contained a large number of very complex and difficult questions, all of which had to be answered according to the introductory blurb at the top of the paper. The teacher had primed us in advance that we would be pushed for time to complete the paper and that every minute counted.

Underneath the final question was written :

"No questions need to be answered in this exam - if you request to leave the hall within the first ten minutes of the exam starting it will be assumed you have passed with an A grade"

Not one person left within the time but there were a lot of groans two hours into the exam as people started to get to the last question. The teacher had put it in as a test to see if people read every question before starting writing so teaching us all the moral of reading the paper before engaging!!

Nice one Mr D*****-C**. To this day I read EVERY question before starting.
In a computer Exam, I got the Question "What is a nibble". The correct answer is of course, half a Byte.

My answer:
"A small party snack, Sometimes cheesey"

My end grade: B :roll:
In a similar vein I particularly like this one:

The following concerns a question in a physics degree exam at the University of Copenhagen:

"Describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper with a barometer."
One student replied:

"You tie a long piece of string to the neck of the barometer, then lower the barometer from the roof of the skyscraper to the ground. The length of the string plus the length of the barometer will equal the height of the building."

This highly original answer so incensed the examiner that the student was failed. The student appealed on the grounds that his answer was indisputably correct, and the university appointed an independent arbiter to decide the case. The arbiter judged that the answer was indeed correct, but did not display any noticeable knowledge of physics. To resolve the problem it was decided to call the student in and allow him six minutes in which to provide a verbal answer that showed at least a minimal familiarity the basic principles of physics.

For five minutes the student sat in silence, forehead creased in thought. The arbiter reminded him that time was running out, to which the student replied that he had several extremely relevant answers, but couldn't make up his mind which to use.

On being advised to hurry up the student replied as follows:
"Firstly, you could take the barometer up to the roof of the skyscraper, drop it over the edge, and measure the time it takes to reach the ground. The height of the building can then be worked out from the formula H = 0.5g x t squared. But bad luck on the barometer."
"Or if the sun is shining you could measure the height of the barometer, then set it on end and measure the length of its shadow. Then you measure the length of the skyscraper's shadow, and thereafter it is a simple matter of proportional arithmetic to work out the height of the skyscraper."

"But if you wanted to be highly scientific about it, you could tie a short piece of string to the barometer and swing it like a pendulum, first at ground level and then on the roof of the skyscraper. The height is worked out by the difference in the gravitational restoring force T = 2 pi sqroot (l / g)."
"Or if the skyscraper has an outside emergency staircase, it would be easier to walk up it and mark off the height of the skyscraper in barometer lengths, then add them up." "If you merely wanted to be boring and orthodox about it, of course, you could use the barometer to measure the air pressure on the roof of the skyscraper and on the ground, and convert the difference in millibars into feet to give the height of the building."

"But since we are constantly being exhorted to exercise independence of mind and apply scientific methods, undoubtedly the best way would be to knock on the janitor's door and say to him 'If you would like a nice new barometer, I will give you this one if you tell me the height of this skyscraper'."

The student was Niels Bohr, the only person from Denmark to win the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Urban myth methinks, but anyways:

Four students had a chemistry exam on Monday morning, but couldn't be bothered to study and instead went on a road trip to see some friends in another university about couple of hundred miles away. A good time was had by all until they woke up halfway through Monday morning and realized they had missed the exam.

They go to see the professor and explain that they had a blown tyre the night before, had no spare and had to wait for a tow-truck. They then asked the professor if they could take another exam to make up for the one they missed.

The professor agrees and the next day the students walked into seperate rooms to take the new exam. They turned over the question paper to see one question staring back at them:

Q1. Which tyre?

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