Recently, I wrote a question (you can see here). Which doesn't involve finding the value of an expression, nor a difficult calculation.

The first thing: This should not be considered a "homework and exercise" question. Since, this question is nowhere in an exercise; it is purely conceptual.

The second thing, my question was closed. I don't know why; I asked question very politely, and it is not even a "check my work question", or nor I am asking you to find the value of $x$. I asked about a concept involved in it.

Why do these ruthless people consider closing my question?

80% of my asked questions are closed here. I see many higher physics problems (even numericals) on PSE are not considered as homework and exercise and are even open, but high school-level questions have no value here.

Where should I (and people like me) go? Is there another Stack Exchange site that gives value to high school-level question?

Isn't it like politics in the field of studies?

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    $\begingroup$ People tend to dislike questions that are extremely specific and take a lot of effort to understand in order to answer. Not that the question is actually difficult, but when it takes investment to even get what is being asked. This site, in my opinion/experience, oftentimes closes such questions. At best they generally don't get answered. I too wonder where one should go with these questions. Perhaps you have a teacher or classmate that can help. "Please try to use mathematics as less as possible" might also rub people the wrong way, but that's just a hypothesis. $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2023 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ Why do you leave out articles, leave out punctuation, leave out words, and even leave out space inbetween words(!!)? This is unhelpful. $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2023 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterMortensen My bad. I am not good at grammer. $\endgroup$
    – Chesx
    Jun 24, 2023 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Relativisticcucumber That seems like an answer, not a comment. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Jun 24, 2023 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ I was actually slightly surprised that it was closed as homework and not as a duplicate of this question that I linked to in the comments. If I'm not wrong, it is asking essentially the same thing and two excellent answers are provided: the first one is more mathematical, and the second one is purely conceptual. $\endgroup$
    – Amit
    Jun 24, 2023 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ Re: "Where should I (and people like me) go? Is there another Stack Exchange site that gives value to high school-level question?" , please see: My question was closed on Phys.SE. Can you recommend me another Internet site where my question might be on-topic? $\endgroup$
    – Amit
    Jun 25, 2023 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


The question is written like an assignment question.

The question is taken from a textbook, is extremely specific, not written to emphasize concepts but instead emphasizes calculations, so ask yourself: except for you, who else will be interested in this question?

The important point of your question is "So, this gives me that work done by normal is zero. But this was mathematics not physics." This appears to late, after a long (and boring) calculation.

If you want to fix this (and it may not work to the satisfaction of the community):

  1. Start by phrasing the problem clearly. For instance: "In the problem below, I will show that the work done by the normal is zero, but I'm not satisfied with my answer."
  2. Clarify the conceptual issue: "If the wedge was fixed, this would be obvious: there is never any displacement perpendicular to the surface of the wedge. But here the wedge is actually moving so this argument does not seem to be so obviously hold."
  3. Phrase the question crisply: "In this kind of problem, how can I understand or calculate the work done by the normal force?"
  4. Here's the example calculation.

This sequence places the conceptual problem at the top and decreases the emphasis on "just solving a problem". Your question is still very much a homework-type problem and may remain closed: the choice of this community is to answer "explain why" and close "check my answer" questions, but at least your question would now be more in the "explain why" category.

I downvoted your question here on Meta. There is nothing ruthless about the choice to close homework-like questions, else the site will become indistinguishable from other homework help sites.

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    $\begingroup$ So, the community wants a good way to write the question irrespective of what the question wants to ask. What are these rules that restrict a person to gain physics knowledge. $\endgroup$
    – Chesx
    Jun 24, 2023 at 13:16
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    $\begingroup$ Nope. The community wants to answer conceptual questions, not homework questions. The onus is on you the OP to make the concepts foremost and transparent, irrespective of the way the question is written. If you expect people to slave through lots of calculations before the conceptual punch line, you need to manage your expectations. (I didn't vote to close your question but I certainly see and understand why others did so, and probably would have voted to close if I had reached it.) $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2023 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ I don't want people to do calculations, even I did the calculations and asked the concepts behind. That's why I especially wrote not to use mathematics. And why are you considering my question to be specific? I asked the literal meaning of workdone by normal ("the meaning"). $\endgroup$
    – Chesx
    Jun 24, 2023 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ As you can see the people I am getting downvotes speaking truth. The community people just want to supress these raises against removing "homework and excersie " obligations. Can you tell me why only Physics SE does this? Maths and Chemistry SE does gives value to high school level questions too. Even many time I have numericals on MSE and CSE which involved calculation and people performed that. There are concepts in mathematics and chemistry too. $\endgroup$
    – Chesx
    Jun 24, 2023 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry but your question is written as a homework-like question.: it does not emphasize the concept. There's nothing more to say really. You ask why, I answer (with my personal point of view) with a fairly detailed explanation. I may be right, I may be wrong, and it doesn't really matter what my opinion or characterization is: by your own admission lots of your questions are closed so for whatever reason your style is not punching through, so feel free to ignore my suggestions if you want. $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2023 at 15:31

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