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Who or what closes questions here on the Physics Stack Exchange site?

None of my questions are "homework" questions, and I wish whoever closes them would actually "read them more closely". Is it some dumb AI algorithm or what?

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    $\begingroup$ If you click the “edited …” link, you’ll see ‘Post Closed as "Not suitable for this site" by ZeroTheHero, Jon Custer, David Bailey’. These are members like you (but with enough reputation points to vote to close), not moderators. No “dumb AI algorithm” was involved. The decision of what constitutes a “homework-like” question is up to other members and/or moderators, not the person posting the question. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 1:47
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    $\begingroup$ These three high-participation members have read and voted on probably thousands of questions, and jumping to the conclusion that they didn’t read your (short) question closely enough is unwarranted. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 1:55
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    $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that only one of your three closed questions was closed as homework-like (the other two were closed as needing more details/clarity). $\endgroup$
    – Sandejo
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 3:17
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    $\begingroup$ It’s also worth noting that 13 of pete’s questions were not closed. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 4:10
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    $\begingroup$ I agree. the closers on Physics.SE do not think on a reason to close a question. Seems they just hit a random closing option, usually "Homework-like" which is evidently wrong. That is why some closed questions are soon reopened, though the questions themselves do not deserve reopening.. $\endgroup$
    – kludg
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 10:46
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    $\begingroup$ Related: How do I ask homework questions on Physics Stack Exchange? and the 'homework-and-exercises' tag wiki ("A "homework question" is any question whose value lies in helping you understand the method by which the question can be solved, rather than getting the answer itself. This includes not just questions from actual homework assignments, but also self-study problems, puzzles, etc."). $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 11:16

2 Answers 2

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On physics.SE, questions are closed by a voting process. Voting is permitted for members whose reputation is $\ge 3000$. Questions can also be closed by moderators$^*$ and other high reputation members$^*$ (for example, a member with a "gold" tag badge - see this). It takes three member votes to close a question.

AI is most certainly not involved in any voting processes.

Whether or not a question asked was actual homework (e.g., assigned by your teacher/professor) is not relevant. See this and this meta post for more information. Well thought out and researched conceptual physics questions are most desired, whereas those asking about a specific computation are not usually desired.

Your assertion that members do not read questions to determine whether or not to close a question is incorrect. This is why experienced SE users are awarded the close privilege.

$^*$ In such cases, other votes are not necessary.

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I'm one of the persons who voted to close your question on spin direction.

Honestly, your question is confused. There's no concept here. One does not arbitrarily choose $\cos\theta$ or $\cos\theta/2$ or $\cos^2\theta$: you just correctly work out the math, as done in details in multiple textbooks and I'm sure on multiple websites as well. In its current form your question is like asking: what is underlying physical concept to compute the probability of rolling two dices and getting the total (die face 1 + die fact 2) to be $7$?

The difficulty is that, with some (minimal) amount of research, your question would become "check-my-work" or an homework-like questions because it is precisely the type of question that one would ask in an assignment.

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  • $\begingroup$ There's no concept here … you just correctly work out the math. It seems to me that the concepts required to work out the math are (1) spin states in an arbitrary direction and (2) the Born rule for quantum probabilities. However, the question did not ask for the “underlying physics concept” at the time of closure, as it does now. I also agree that it seemed confused, as if the OP does not understand how quantum probabilities are calculated — despite claiming in a now-deleted comment that the Born rule can be derived from “easily understandable common sense”. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Ghoster it's even worse than I remembered then. 'twas basically asking for a computation... $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ I’m not sure about that. I think the OP believes that this probability follows from simple reasoning rather than from a calculation. In the chat he wrote: “My reason for asking my question about spin is because I have an (as yet unstated ) alternative derivation of the cos^2(\frac{\theta}{2}) probability that is extremely short and simple and does not require any quantum formalism at all !” I think he was looking to see whether someone else would confirm his (unstated) reasoning. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Ghoster this would be even worse then… basically non-mainstream theory. In case case it’s seems the question is unclear. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I agree with you. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 22:59

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