A little while ago I asked a question on the Matter Modeling SE, and it has not received any answers. This question is regarding the way anharmonic force fields are calculated in computational chemistry programs (How do you calculate a full quartic force field for anharmonic frequencies?). Basically, given the fact that semi-quartic force fields are generally determined to calculate anharmonic properties, I was wondering what it would take to calculate a full quartic force field.

After attempting to add a previously unused tag, 'anharmonicity', to the question, I was made aware that there was no justification for the tag to be created, as not enough questions concerning anharmonicity have ever been asked on MMSE (the figure I was quoted was 5/3500+ contained the word ‘anharmonicity’).

This was surprising, as I had assumed MMSE would have received many questions regarding anharmonicity. The lack of discussion of anharmonicity on MMSE suggests that I am unlikely to receive an answer there. My next instinct would be to ask at the Chemistry SE, because the question is about the calculation of anharmonic force fields for molecules, but I think there may be a larger audience of people who know about anharmonicity in the Physics SE.

(Here is where I show my chemistry bias) Essentially, I would like to transfer the question to the Physics SE, but I am not sure if the question is too applied for it. I have several books and many articles where the theory behind anharmonicity is laid out; I want an answer concerning the practical technique.

Considering it does not fit at MMSE, how likely is it this question would receive an answer if deleted on MMSE but posted on PSE instead?

  • $\begingroup$ Is the rant about tags necessary for anyone here? It seems that you could just say, "it wasn't answered there, would it be answered here?" and be done with it. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Nov 28, 2023 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Try it and see. What’s your goal? To get an answer to your satisfaction and contribute to PSE or to be a hero of a SE subsite? $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2023 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos it’s not just that. I thought it was important to mention because I imagine that some people might have thought it would be a question more suited to MMSE (I did), because it’s directly related to the computation, but apparently it isn’t, and isn’t likely to get an answer there (because it’s not a topic that’s often discussed). I thought it was worth explaining why, as opposed to people thinking I was just getting impatient. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 2:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero the goal is to get an answer. The reason I’m asking the question is because I looked up the policy on cross posting and it seems it can be a bit contentious sometimes. I want to make sure that the question is appropriate for PSE before I delete the question from MMSE $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 2:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The way I read it, it looks like you just wanted to complain about another site. It's 100% irrelevant to your question of whether such a question would be on-topic here or not. My $0.02 would be it's on topic, so long as the question is focused on the physics component and not the programming component. If the latter is your interest, Computational Science might be another alternative venue to try. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Nov 29, 2023 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos I have edited the question a bit to make it sound less ‘whiny’. I’m not really sure whether it’s about the programming or the physics, more about the technique, if that makes sense. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ I still don’t understand why you care how your question would be received. It seems you’re just trying to guess if your rep will up or down. Why not just post? $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero I thought I was clear: cross posting can be frowned upon, in the sense that it's not allowed (according to this post: link). So, I want to make sure that if I do delete the question on MMSE, it is more likely to get an answer here, rather than less likely. If that's not clear enough, I'm not sure what else I can say. I honestly thought this was a simple question which didn't require much interrogation... $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ I just edited your question as per your last comment. Feel free to roll back. I don’t think this can be answered without posting your question here. I don’t see the harm in deleting your question on MMSE and posting on PSE as the question is not right for MMSE. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero thanks for that. It’s probably clearer now than it was before :) $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2023 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ If you feel that especially chemist can appreciate the importance of your question, then why don't you try to ask it on chemistry SE? $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2023 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


A little while ago I asked... (How do you calculate a full quartic force field for anharmonic frequencies?).

...Considering it does not fit at MMSE, how likely is it this question would receive an answer if deleted on MMSE but posted on PSE instead?

(Emphasis added)

I don't think anyone here can provide a factual answer regarding "how likely" it is that your question will receive an answer on PSE.

First of all, your question might randomly receive a bad or thoughtless answer (or worse an A.I. hallucination answer). I suspect that is not the kind of answer that you are interested in.

If I had to guess whether or not your question would receive a good/useful answer on PSE, I would guess that the answer is "no, it will not." But my only real justification for this guess is that when I look at your question I do not personally want to answer it.

  • $\begingroup$ I think the question is appropriate for Physics (it is about physics after all), but it is a quite niche question that may well not get an answer her. I (perhaps naively) would have expected the Matter Modeling folks to be the better audience. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 30, 2023 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Yeah, I would have expected that too. And it got a lot of up-votes there, but no answers... $\endgroup$
    – hft
    Nov 30, 2023 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like there is a paper in the answer to the question, which I am not qualified to figure out... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 30, 2023 at 15:09

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