Saturday, April 26, 2008

Whether Hell is Endothermic or Exothermic ?

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term exam. 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.

Here is the "Bonus Question" on the exam:
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 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 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 (a girlfriend of mine 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."

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dodge the bullets - Aeroplane safety Puzzle

Dodge the bullets - Aeroplane safety Puzzle -
It was a dark and stormy night at a secret airfield somewhere in England during WW II. The Royal Air Force had summoned one of England's most noted mathematicians to help them solve a problem. German anti-aircraft fire based on the ground was inflicting heavy losses on the Brits. Their planes were being shot down right and left. The RAF had to do something to diminish their losses.

Clearly, they could put armor plating on the bottoms of the fuselages and the wings, but there were several problems with that idea. Their range and their ability to carry bombs would be considerably reduced because of the additional weight. They had to be very selective!

A nameless mathematician crawled underneath the planes and looked at where the bullet holes were on the underside. They were all over the place as you might expect -- in the wings and the fuselage, and seemingly distributed randomly on the undersides. He studied hundreds of planes, took pictures, drew a number of sketches -- and then he made his recommendation.

The question is, what armor plating, if any, did he recommend putting on these planes -- and why?
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Find the Culprit Managers Puzzle

Find the Culprit Managers Riddle

The FBI has surrounded the headquarters of the Norne corporation. There are n people in the building. Each person is either an engineer or a manager. All computer files have been deleted, and all documents have been shredded by the managers. The problem confronting the FBI interrogation team is to separate the people into these two classes, so that all the managers can be locked up and all the engineers can be freed. Each of the n people knows the status of all the others. The interrogation consists entirely of asking person i if person j is an engineer or a manager. The engineers always tell the truth. What makes it hard is that the managers may not tell the truth. In fact, the managers are evil geniuses who are conspiring to confuse the interrogators.

  1. Under the assumption that more than half of the people are engineers, can you find a strategy for the FBI to find one engineer with at most n-1 questions?
  2. Is this possible in any number of questions if half the people are managers?
  3. Once an engineer is found, he/she can classify everybody else. Is there a way to classify everybody in fewer questions?
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Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Lawsuit Puzzle

The Lawsuit Riddle
Mr. Jones filed a lawsuit against the company he worked for. He claimed that the company he worked for was drugging him to make him a better worker.

He claimed that the coffee the company provided contained a drug called Trimethylxanthine. Trimethylxanthine is an addictive drug that increases alertness, improves concentration, and gives you a euphoric feeling.

It operates using the same mechanisms that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin use to stimulate the brain only to a lesser degree. When the coffee was tested it was found that it did contain large amounts of Trimethylxanthine.
But, Mr. Jones did not win his lawsuit. Why?

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Solution to rank the 25 horses puzzle

This is the solution / answer to the puzzle Rank the 25 horses puzzle posted on 23rd March 2008.
Those who havent tried it yet.. Give a try at Rank the 25 horses puzzle
We group the 25 horses in 5 groups each containing 5 horses.In each of first five races we will rank each five horsesA, B,C,D and E ( A : fastest and E: slowest) in the group.
   1A    1B    1C   1D   1E
2A 2B 2C 2D 2E
3A 3B 3C 3D 3E
4A 4B 4C 4D 4E
5A 5B 5C 5D 5E

In the sixth race ( among the first of each group) we will get the fastest horse and rank these five horses 1A,2A,3A,4A & 5A (1A : fastest and 5A slowest)
Similarly .just select the fastest of the remaining horses from each row for the race.

Now we have got the fastest horse 1A and will also set nomenclature for each horses.
The fastest of the remaining horses in the row will take part.For e.g. the seventh race will be between 1B & 2A (no need to run 3A,4A & 5A)for determining
2nd fastest horse.

The 8th race will determine the third place and it will be between 1C and 2B ( in case 1B wins 7th race) or among 1B,2B & 3A ( in case 2A wins 7th race).

The 9th race will determine the 4th place and the 10th race will determine 5th place.

And moving on 25 th race will determine 20th place.The 26th race will tel the remaining 5 ranks.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Daring Thoughtless Thief Puzzle

Daring Thoughtless Thief Riddle
A daring, rather thoughtless thief once stole a car of the police chief. The police immediately started an investigation and on the basis of witness depositions, four suspects were arrested that were seen near the car at the time of the crime. Because the chief of police took the case very seriously, he decided to examine the four suspects personally using a lie detector. Each suspect gave three statements during the examinations, as follows:

Suspect A:
1. In high-school I was in the same class as suspect C.
2. Suspect B has no driving license.
3. The thief didn't know that it was the car of the chief of police.

Suspect B:
1. Suspect C is the guilty one.
2. Suspect A is not guilty.
3. I never sat behind the wheel of a car.

Suspect C:
1. I never met suspect A until today.
2. Suspect B is innocent.
3. Suspect D is the guilty one.

Suspect D:
1. Suspect C is innocent.
2. I didn't do it.
3. Suspect A is the guilty one.

With so many contradicting statements, the chief of police lost track. To make things worse, it appeared that the lie-detector didn't quite work yet as it should, because the machine only reported that exactly four of the twelve statements were true, but not which ones.
Now the big Question : Who is the thief??
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