This relates to https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/540575/ . I said what I had to say on my answer itself. It was edited out by a moderator and suggested to me that I post my query here.
I have no queries as such, but I do have (what I feel) an important point to make. Since I spent a good deal of time crafting out my original "rant" (and frankly, a little exhausted) I'll just post the part that was edited out. Sorry I don't have the energy to write a standalone question, but the general direction of my problem should be clear. I request the community's feedback on the issues I attempt to highlight.
Also, please ignore the title (it's a rhetoric question). I have to think one up, but my mind is not proving very helpful. I will add though, that I have been using SE for years (for my own education) and have only recently started contributing.
I do notice now that I am spending more time on SE, however, a very strong strain of anti-intellectualism going around here that I did not notice when I was just using Google search to look up questions on SE. Many closed minded people on this website (just my observation). I think for my own sanity, I should go back to what I was doing formerly.
Edit: Example of what I am talking about. I received a downvote on my answer on the Physics site after I posted this here. How to explain this? Also, the fact that this is all anonymous makes all this so much worse.
EDIT (II): I thought for a while why any of this seems so objectionable. I realize that the point I am making seems so inconsequential (I mean, there are lots of instances on this website of people losing their shit when faced with the dreaded downvote ; I am yet another in that pile, etc.).
However, this is not inconsequential (in my opinion). It has, in fact, great relevance to the question of whether this site (or any other such resource that is of, by, and for the people, to be cliched) manages to be effective. To do what it is supposed (or advertised) to do. Allow me to explain:
$(1)$ My understanding is that down-votes are reserved for answers (and questions) that show an objective lack of effort. I should also mention, that I have seen a lot of down-vote worthy (IMHO, of course) content on this website, but have never been able to bring myself to actually press the downvote button. I press the UPvote on the answer which I think is correct instead. This fulfills what StackExchange advertises itself as (a sentiment I fully agree) : I quote (from the front page of SE) : "The right answer. Right on top"
That is why I said (to address a comment below as well, although the justification I gave below is also perfectly valid) "...to anyone with a hint of intellectual honesty (and let me add, understanding of physics) my answer is not down-votable..." .
It IS intellectually dishonest to down-vote an answer that shows clear effort (irrespective of whether the Physics is right ; that's what the upvotes are for)
$(2)$ Now, let me add a layer of mindfuck (assuming you are still with me). First, a few pieces of info:
I paid a visit to the SE page of the commentator (and downvoter) that I addressed in my answer on the referred post above. I found that his highest rated answer is to the following question : Why does matter exist in 3 states (liquids, solid, gas)? Sounds Familiar? (hint: link at top of this post). No comments (yet).
I lost my marbles yesterday too over this same issue (details in chat log of hbar). In that case, my answer was down-voted by my co-answerer on the question! I mean, of course, these things are impossible to prove, but when things are happening in real time, it is not that hard to tell who the downvote came from.
I can understand emotional deployment of up and down-votes. That happens a good bit on this website as well (I would say, the majority are just emotional). The above two examples seem much worse somehow.
$(3)$ Why? There are lots of people with lots of different kinds of fish to fry on this website. Mine was that I wanted to work on my (physics) writing (brevity is not a quality I possess, as may be evident).
But how comfortable would you be if people started using the down-vote to help them fry the fish they are here to fry (especially of the professional kind)? I think a reasonable claim may be made that such a thing happens fairly regularly on this website (I'll leave it to you to decide if the above two fall in that category, but I think I am not that far out in suspecting). That is, if the DOWN-VOTE becomes a TOOL to gain COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE? Would that be an appropriate usage of the down-vote? Would that be healthy? Do the OverLords at SE imagine this is a sustainable model? What about the advertising tagline above?
$(4)$ It is with good reason that this is the tagline. Any such website would be pointless if the right answer weren't usually on top. So, for long term survival of any such platform, it is crucial that this condition is, on an average, true.
This is not a question I am asking (except to answer to yourself, perhaps) but take a good look at the Physics SE website. Do you, in your personal opinion think this condition is satisfied currently? ie, do you think the right answer is at the top (generally, usually etc.). Even if you do, but you too have noticed what I point out in $(3)$, do you think it will for very long?
$(5)$ Which brings me to my final point : I read some highly read discussions on this Meta site regarding if there needs to be a critical mass of Professional Physicists for this website to function. The answer , in my opinion, is NO. Several people whose work I follow on this website are not, and they are producing good work.
Profession is some narrow box we are all boxed into. However doing physics is much wider than what professional physicists like to think. The only condition that professional physicists satisfy is that their paycheck comes because they do physics. That does not mean that people who earn their living through other means cannot be Physicists (eg., a certain A.Einstein?)
However it IS crucial that the amount of bullshit on this site does not reach a critical mass. Ultimately, any public platform can only function if the public has trust. If there is no trust, there is nothing.
tl;dr: I will not apologize for this "wordy" post. Educated people need to have longer than 5-minute attention spans. I do realize, though, that my writing can be wordy, objectively. So if you read all the way, thanks.
REMOVED TEXT : @ leftaroundabout's comment: "... I had to downvote. This is just a more wordy version of knzhou's non-answer ..."
Frankly, I have a suspicion that you do not understand OP's question. But Let me Reiterate. OP's question asks if there is any unambiguous , macroscopically observable (that can be captured in a "3-D image") criterion that distinguishes liquids and gases. The answer is No.
The "wordiness" of my answer contains actual Physical arguments backing @knzhou's perfectly valid answer, I suggest you read them. As somebody else has already pointed out below, to anyone with a hint of intellectual honesty (and let me add, understanding of physics) my answer is not down-votable.
Also, about downvotes. It is fine. I got very worked up over downvotes on an answer yesterday. I am pretty new to this ; however, let me add that it is not necessarily about me. It is about making sure that the physics is correct. It gets my goat a little when my Physics makes sense, but it is downvoted. I'll try to handle this better.
I am learning how to write, but still, I can sense when I have written a valid and reasonable answer. This is (IMO) an instance. But I see a very strange pattern on PhysicsSE: answers that I know would be accepted by my colleagues in the Physics department (because they contain real PHYSICS) are repeatedly down-voted here. I mean, what do people want this website to be? Quora? Yahoo Answers?. (Although, maybe based on the quality of some of the answers that are upvoted on this site, the answer is yes)
also. Minor Point. It seems like you have your mind made up that liquids and gases are indeed distinct phases in a well defined manner. The point of this bounty that you have announced seems to be to find a reputable source (exact wording of bounty) to back up your pre-cooked understanding. I'll just say that made up minds are not good for doing physics (or anything, actually). (that is just an opinion)
"... Another (unimportant) matter: you put so much emphasis-markup into your answer that it becomes hard to even read. In particular, please don't use math mode as “super-italic” emphasis...."
- ONLY useful (to me) feedback : I have tried to fix this as far as possible on this post. Thanks for this comment.
Finally, at the person who attempted to delete this paragraph : DON'T. Censorship is not healthy for a democratic atmosphere. Everything (including physics) comes after.