At Physics StackExchange, we discuss almost all types of physics topics. Some get more attention and some get less, but it depends upon various things, including our site policy. Our policy has been the same for each topic for many years, which I feel is not right for topics which are not popular topics among the current members of the site.

Our site aims to be a platform for all types of physics topics, whether they belong to any particular field. Consider the example of fluid mechanics, which is one of the less active topics on site. Why I am saying this is because fluid mechanics is a topic which is less popular among GR and quantum lovers. They straight away flag the post to either homework type or transfer it to another website, which I feel is not right!

What we can do is ease our homework policy for this topic, allowing some useful answers by some experienced users, creating a separate room for the topics which are less active, and resolving new inexperienced user problems there, to allow all kinds of thought on that particular topic.

For a limited time, we can do this, like two weeks. If beyond that, we can't improve it, then we will be back to our old policy. If this policy works, we can apply it to other physics topics too, and, like math.stackexchange, we soon we will achieve a site which is for all classes of physics lovers. I hope you will share your thoughts on it!

If you have anything better than this, please suggest.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ FWIW, fluid-dynamics is the 13th most used tag on PSE. In other words it is among the top 15 tags. I don't see it as underrated in any way. $\endgroup$
    – user258881
    May 4, 2020 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ just wait let me post something which will clear thoughts $\endgroup$ May 4, 2020 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ like math.stackexchange PSE has made a deliberate decision not to be like MSE. $\endgroup$
    – G. Smith
    May 4, 2020 at 17:45

2 Answers 2

  • You seem to think that fluid-dynamics questions get closed as homework more often than threads in other tags. This is wildly inconsistent with my observations of the site (as well as many others', from what I can tell).

    Luckily, however, this is a testable hypothesis, as all of that data is directly available in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer. Go and look at the data, and if your claim is true, then you should be able to produce properly convincing evidence.

  • You seem to think that allowing more low-quality homework posts for the tag, and related tags, will attract expert users willing to answer those questions.

    You'll have to explain to us why you think that's the case, as it's in direct contradiction with this site's experience.

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    $\begingroup$ By now, you would think I've seen enough classic Emilio "Show us the data" posts that I would have thought to include it in my answer. I like how much you champion it here, I always forget about that tool. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    May 4, 2020 at 22:32

Quite frankly, I don't really see the problem.

Do you have examples of these "less popular" topics being closed as homework or moved to another site in a way that doesn't fit with other types of "popular" questions?

You seem to be suggesting that we ease the homework policy for these topics, but that doesn't seem useful to me. You mention "our policy is the same for each topic". I think that's a very good thing. This would suggest that every topic is on equal footing. What changes is how interested the users are in those topics. If a topic isn't very active here, it just suggests that perhaps not many people are interested in that specific topic. In my opinion, that's not really a problem to be solved, it just is what it is.

So my suggestion is that we keep trying to treat every topic the same way when it comes to closing, and not be less strict on some questions just to artificially have more questions on those topics.

  • $\begingroup$ If we can do this for fluid mechanics then we should definitely be more lenient about allowing biology questions for biophysics ;) $\endgroup$ May 4, 2020 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens THAT is precisely why we should not be more lenient ;) ;) $\endgroup$ May 4, 2020 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero That must mean you hate biophysics. I am typing up a meta post about the stifling of biophysics on this site right now. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2020 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens as long as I love you irrespective of my position on biophysics we're good I think. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2020 at 14:48

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