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Here is a recent question on the Stone-Neumann theorem, and there are countless others especially on tensor analysis/differential geometry presumably related to general relativity. As this question is being asked, if we were consistent, it should belong to the math SE. We have been sending clearly elementary and not so elementary calculus questions there, rightly so, especially if there is no indication of any direct relation to physics. But where a question should belong should not depend on being at undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate level.

So what should the rule be? Maybe the problem is not that it is a purely mathematical question, but that it is being phrased without an explicit statement why this question is relevant to a particular branch of physics, and just placing a "relativity" or "quantum mechanics" tag should not be enough.

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We have discussed this in the past with the quintessential post found here. The key point is the first two sentences of the top answer:

Questions devoid of any physics content (or reference to physics), which focus entirely on mathematical details should be migrated to the mathematics SE. If the question is regarding a mathematical method applied to a physics problem, then it is appropriate for the physics SE.

Though this point seems a bit moot since it has been migrated away already.


Also, at the time of writing, you've earned more than 6 times the required minimum for the privilege of Voting to Close and have participated in the Close Review at least once. Perhaps the next time you feel a question is not suitable for this site, you could just vote to close it (and optionally, maybe even leave a comment indicating why you think it should be close)

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  • $\begingroup$ At my age I am much more tolerant when it comes to almost anything and also reluctant even to downvote but I did notice that there are an untold number of differential geometry questions of which I know enough to know, but not much more, that they are GR related. In these cases I suspect that maybe my atomic layer deep knowledge of the subject prevents me to see their direct importance to physics, hence my hesitation. But these questions are regularly answered by experts in this forum. $\endgroup$
    – hyportnex
    Commented Feb 19 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, I had nothing against this particular question either. Maybe the "vote to close" window should have an option to request an explicit explanation how/why the specific mathematical question is physics related. $\endgroup$
    – hyportnex
    Commented Feb 19 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ I had nothing against this particular question either This seems to imply that users who VTC generally have something against the questions they vote on, which should not be the case. Users VTC because it helps improve the quality of the site, not because they dislike questions (arguably, that is what downvote buttons are for). $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 19 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ an option to request an explicit explanation how/why the specific mathematical question is physics related this feature exists and is routinely called "comments". $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 19 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ indeed but not quite the same $\endgroup$
    – hyportnex
    Commented Feb 19 at 22:25

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