The question 450511 Does a physical interpretation of density matrix cross-terms exist? of which I recently updated my answer, has been marked as duplicate of question 536038 Non-diagonal matrix element in density matrix which is actually newer and considerably less clear.

Can question 450511 not be flagged as duplicate? For the future, is there a way to put forward a similar issue without asking a question on meta?


1 Answer 1


I've reversed the closure and closed the newer question as a duplicate of the older.

Note that, in general, age alone is not the only criterion for how we close questions as duplicates. Particularly when both questions have been left open for long enough to accumulate answers, there is no general rule that the older question always "wins". However, in this case it seems clear to me that the older question is the better original, both from the way the question itself is worded, because it has two lengthy well-received answers, and also because it has more total views already.

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    $\begingroup$ Perfect, thanks. Concerning my second question, is meta the right place to post such questions? $\endgroup$
    – lcv
    Sep 19, 2022 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ @lcv Yes, of course it is! $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Sep 19, 2022 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ Better: "age alone is not a criteria at all." The best version of the question, with the better answers, is what should be the target. $\endgroup$
    – Nij
    Sep 20, 2022 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the second reason is in contradiction with this site policy, as stated in many discussions in Meta. Many times I read that it is not the quality of the answer that can be used to judge the question, but "... it has two lengthy well-received answers, ..." goes in that direction. On the basis of such a point of view, many questions should be left open just because they could receive a better answer than the original. I think the real problem is that I am not sure I ever saw a merge between two similar questions. Why is it a rare event? $\endgroup$ Sep 25, 2022 at 5:57
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    $\begingroup$ @GiorgioP Merges are for questions that are really, really identical. For example, sometimes a user will respond to closure of a question by simply posting exactly the same question again, perhaps changing a few cosmetic words or punctuations. If both identical questions get answers, a merge is the right way to put those answers together. We almost never do them, which is why you have not noticed any. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Sep 27, 2022 at 3:35

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