~~~ ?? Donald Simanek ??
This document reproduces two classics of science parody/humor. The first appeared in Applied Optics (1972, 11 A14). It applies the physics of thermodynamics to conclude that Heaven is hotter than Hell. The second is a response which combines Biblical evidence with thermodynamics to argue that, while heaven is devilishly hot, hell it hotter still. It appeared in the Journal of Irreproducible Results in 1979. While the first paper is well known, and available many places on the www, the follow up isn't as well known. It is included here, for the first time on the net, in the interest of fairly presenting both sides of this burning debate on a hot issue.
Heaven Is Hotter Than Hell
The temperature of heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is the Bible, Isaiah 30:26 reads, “Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of seven days.” Thus, heaven receives from the moon as much radiation as the earth does from the sun, and in addition seven times seven (forty nine) times as much as the earth does from the sun, or fifty times in all. The light we receive from the moon is one ten-thousandth of the light we receive from the sun, so we can ignore that. With these data we can compute the temperature of heaven: The radiation falling on heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation. In other words, heaven loses fifty times as much heat as the earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann fourth power law for radiation
(H/E)4 = 50
where E is the absolute temperature of the earth, 300oK (273+27). This gives H the absolute temperature of heaven, as 798o absolute (525oC).
The exact temperature of hell cannot be computed but it must be less than 444.6oC, the temperature at which brimstone or sulfur changes from a liquid to a gas. Revelations 21:8: But the fearful and unbelieving... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone [sulfur] means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, which is 444.6oC. (Above that point, it would be a vapor, not a lake.)
We have then, temperature of heaven, 525oC (977°F). Temperature of hell, less than 445oF). Therefore heaven is hotter than hell.
This version differs from some on the net, and has been faithfully copied from the version in Applied Optics. The misprint in the exponent of the equation has been corrected, and one insertion added, in square brackets. The author of this piece of humor is unknown. The Applied Optics version was prefaced by "The following reached your Managing Editor via John Howard (from) H. William Koch (from) Alan Bromley (from) an unnamed environmental physicist of several decades back." This places its origin as early as 1950.
A Refutation of the Proof that Heaven is Hotter than Hell
~~~ Dr. Tim Healey, F. R. C. R.; M. I. Nuc. E.
In Applied Optics (1972, 11 A14) there appeared a calculation of the respective temperatures of Heaven and Hell. That of Heaven was computed by substituting the values given in Isaiah 30 26  in the Stefan-Boltzman radiation law, so that (H/E)4 = 50, where E, the absolute temperature of the Earth, is 300oK, whence the temperature of Heaven, H, is 798oK or 525oC. This is hard to find fault with.
The assessment of the temperature of Hell stands, I suggest, on less firm ground. As authority we use the data provided in Revelations 21 8 , so that the temperature of Hell seems to be 444.6oC--the temperature at which liquid sulfur is in equilibrium with its vapor-a temperature indeed which is sufficiently reliable to be used in the secondary calibration of pyrometers.
Now this last reckoning fails to follow the argument through. 444.6oC is the temperature at which liquid sulfur is in equilibrium with its vapor at normal atmospheric pressure. Have we any data as to the pressure likely to be found in Hell?
The answer is "Yes". A nineteenth century mathematician has already provided the groundwork for Us  and we may feel confident that by the year 2000 the total number of the damned will be at least 29,422,641,251,519,917,000 souls. Yet the area of the valley of Gehinnom  is only 7,000,000 square meters.
We can now apply these figures in the Ideal Gas Equation to calculate what the pressure will be in the valley of Gehinnom. Since surely some souls must have been damned since 1877 , the pressure can only have increased since these calculations were made and the equilibrium point on the phase diagram of sulfur must have shifted still further, so that if we can show that at a temperature of 525oC sulfur would still be liquid at the pressure calculated (which is a minimum value, remember). Hell (Gehinnom) is now cooler than Heaven.
Certain corrections must be applied first, however.
In the calculation the following assumptions are made:
The volume available in Gehenna is
60 × 106 × 2 m3
and the original volume of the damned is
0.06 × 29.422641 × 1018m3
Then, at constant temperature (which we assume, taking equilibrium)
P1V1 = P2V2 or P2 = P1V1/V2
P2 = [29 × 6 × 1016] / [2 × 6 × 107] = 14.5 × 109 atmospheres
Now let us see what pressure is needed to liquefy sulfur vapour at 525oC. We have, using the Clausius-Cleypeyron equation in its integrated form,
Log P = 7.43287 - 3268.2 / T
where P = pressure in mm Hg and T = the elevated boiling point in oK, so that
Log P = 7.43287 - (3268.2/798) = 3.3373813
P = 2174.607 mm Hg = 2.86 atmospheres
(1) is so much greater than (2) that Revelations 21 8 indicates a temperature very considerably higher than 525oC.
Thus, Hell is hotter than Heaven (which remains deucedly hot).
"The mean cubic area between a new-born infant and an adult is about 1/20th metre; the bulk of the damned above is equal to the mass of a sphere of radius 705,504 metres; that of the earth is 6,366,200 metres.
"If one puts back the origin of man, following certain German naturalists, to 80,000 years, the number of damned would form a cube three times the size of the earth.
"Now, how does one assemble the 34,326,414,260 millions risen on a surface of 60,000,000 sq. metres to judge them and how does one sink this mass of damned, through all manner of rock, to a depth of 5,660,660 metres?"
This paper appeared in The Journal of Irreproducible Results, Vol 25, No.4:17-18 Copyright © 1979 by The Journal of Irreproducible Results, Inc.
These documents were scanned for OCR and edited by Donald Simanek. Report any errors to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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