Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Short Chemistry lesson

Three late-evening school meetings, a homework meltdown, general autumn malaise and a fibromyalgia flare have limited my time in the blogging sphere this week.  But I could not miss out on Saturday Silliness!  Don't be intimidated by the scientific bent of this story, it is still pretty easy to understand.  Get all the terms down and impress your friends!

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The following is an actual question given on a University of ILLINOIS 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.' "

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+.


Happy Weekend!!

7 comments:

anno said...

Brilliant! she exclaimed, wiping the tears from her eyes.

This made my day!

Robin said...

I love it!

Jen said...

I've seen this before, but I absolutely love it! It caused me to laugh out loud again. Also, have you seen the physics exam answer on the travels of Santa Claus? That's a good one, too.

I hope you feel better soon - another friend of mine with FM is having a hard time this week and my doc thinks my hives are a weird form of flare-up. Must be the weather...

soccer mom in denial said...

This CANNOT be real! It is too funny and smart. Tee-hee.

I've missed you in my neck of the woods. Good to know you are still out there.

Hug.

Real Life Drama Queen said...

I needed that laugh.. yes I did LOL

Space Mom said...

Oh yeah, I remember that one! :)

Remind me to email you the height of the building using the barometer joke!

Leslie said...

That student certainly deserved an A plus. That was brilliantly funny!