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This can help distinguish questions about specific problems and theoretical physics from "practical" ones that tend to generate interest in people that are less interested in science and math. I am not studying physics but I would love to follow these types of questions that answer how things work.

Possible questions that fall in this category:

It's these types of questions that make Physics so interesting to me. A tag would be nice.

What should the tag be?

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  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps "applied"? $\endgroup$ – Tom Nov 26 '10 at 16:56
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This is a meta tag, so it shouldn't be used at all.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think I don't understand your answer at all. Could you elaborate why is it bad to use such a tag? $\endgroup$ – Marek Nov 27 '10 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags $\endgroup$ – user68 Nov 27 '10 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ @mbq: thank you! $\endgroup$ – Marek Nov 27 '10 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ @mbq: the link provided actually only applies to best-practices, subjective and beginner. When specifically about homework (another meta-tag) Jeff states that "I’m less worried about the ragged edges of the system; it’s when we have three GRATUITOUSLY meta-tags hogging up space in the top 10, top 30, top 40 tags that I start to get worried. So we don’t have to stamp out every iota of meta-tags, we just have to DISCOURAGE it, and make sure it doesn’t come to DOMINATE the top (n) tags list — as it did on Stack Overflow." $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Nov 28 '10 at 11:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Sklivvz This is a remark that applies to SO because of its size and the following larger level of unmanageable overall chaos. For smaller sites the good rule of thumb is that if it is nonsense to get particular tag-badge (and this is only a matter of time someone will get it), the tag should be killed as meta tag. $\endgroup$ – user68 Nov 28 '10 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ I think the question is: would anybody find it usefule to search for such a tag? If you look at the discussion about meta-tags, subjective and beginner fail this test, but at least according to some people, best-practices does not fail the test. I think how-does-it-work fails this test, but maybe some people disagree. $\endgroup$ – Peter Shor Mar 25 '11 at 18:03
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Why not "how does that work ?", taken straight from your question ?

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I think is applicable for most of these

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I'd suggest "what-makes-it-tick". Kind of long though.

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I would suggest using "classical-physics" when appropriate.

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    $\begingroup$ but classical physics include Lagrange-point orbit and interferometry, which are not part of the "how do things work" subject, while excluding atomic clocks and integrated electronics, which are part of the subject. $\endgroup$ – Frédéric Grosshans Dec 3 '10 at 9:59

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