How is this site conceived? Math Overflow is a pretty valuable tool for research mathematicians. There is a parallel site for undergraduate-level math. If Physics Overflow/Area 51/Physics is to be about research-level physics, perhaps the design should convey this.

  • $\begingroup$ It appears as though many of those committed are early students. Was this the case for Mathoverflow? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 4:06
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    $\begingroup$ @sigoldberg1: MO was a different story, since the SE engine was commercially available back then, the community driven process with beta phase has only started this june. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ Don't be offended that this question was downvoted; SO-users, at least, tend to give downvotes on Meta questions they don't agree with. You're right, this is a "rough" design, but the same design is used for all beta sites to give it that "on paper" and "working on problems" feel. $\endgroup$
    – Mark C
    Commented Nov 7, 2010 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


The design is the same for all site in the beta phase, Jin will give each site a unique design in time.


The sketchyness of the site is because the site is in beta and a design hasn't been discussed, let alone decided.

This is usually done after about 90-100 days of public beta, currently we are in private beta, and there are 5 days left of private beta.

EDIT: Also this site [hopefully] won't be completely research-level.

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    $\begingroup$ If we do not have many people capable of answer research level questions coherently then we will probably end up with many badly answered questions and be another bad physics website. $\endgroup$
    – Davorak
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes which is why I said "not completely " $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Davorak What we really need to do is encourage our physics-interested friends to join, especially physics/astronomy majors, graduate students, and researchers, helping them to appreciate the strengths of the SO model. $\endgroup$
    – Mark C
    Commented Nov 7, 2010 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ On math.se I think it is they have tags for different level as I have suggested I think this works well for sites like math and physics but not for sites like SO which is why there are questions on MSO saying such meta tags are not meant to be used. $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Nov 7, 2010 at 10:06

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