Mainly in reference to Direction of rotation of proton in magnetic field--opposite to a dipole

I recently asked a paradox question, and I got multiple answers that conflicted each other. The issue is that each one has good arguments that make sense, and the community seems undecided.

(barring my CW answer), the vote counts are thus: (+3-2),(+2-1),(+1-1). Note that I had upvoted each answer as it came in, since while reading it it immediately made sense, though not so much later.

Aside from offering a bounty (which I shall do tomorrow or something), what else can one do in such a case? After all, there is no Grand Poohbah of physics on P.SE, or indeed anywhere. Neither is there a "manual". So how can one know which answer is correct?

On a related note, what is the admissibility of such "paradox" questions on this site? Paradoxes(-xi?) usually have multiple resolutions, but all the resolutions boil down to the same issue, so I personally feel that they aren't subjective. But I don't know what others' opinions are on this issue.

  • $\begingroup$ Do the experiment. That's how matters should be settled in science. ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Raskolnikov win't work if it's a theoretical question. The linked question cannot be experimentally verified--the result is already known and is verified every day in cyclotrons and particle accelerators. But we cannot experimentally verify the reason behind the quirky part of the result, can we? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


If you're not satisfied that any of the answers is correct, that's fine, just leave the question without an accepted answer.

As for paradox questions, what do you mean by that category? All the best questions on this site arise from some apparent contradiction in the laws of physics, so I don't see why it matters whether you call it a paradox or not.

  • $\begingroup$ Good point on paradoxes. Yeah, I guess that pretty much everything is a paradox here :p. After thinking about it, a bounty is probably the only way to get the answers verified. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:42

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