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Is it off limits to ask where you can get a Tapered Roller Bearing capable of turning a whole 25,000 vehicle?

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  • $\begingroup$ Between my own judgment and the community opinion, I can definitely say now that this sort of question is off topic and will be closed if asked. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 24 '10 at 7:06
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My feeling is that it is completely off limits. But this was never mentioned explicitly so it can't hurt to discuss it.

I am saying we are physics site, not physics supplies site. Up-vote this if you agree, provide separate answer if you disagree.

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    $\begingroup$ As a moderator, I agree with this. If I saw such a question on the site, I would close it as "off topic". $\endgroup$ – Noldorin Dec 24 '10 at 12:25
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Answer to the question title and body: Yes. It is off limits.

Side discussion:

Pursuant to David's comment on Evan's answer I'd like to bring up the topic of demo equipment and or student laboratory kit.

There are a fair number of specialized demo toys and tools for student laboratories that don't have and use or demand outside of the physics classroom. If we were going to make an exception (to the general rule "This is not a shopping advice site" that Marek proposes) this would presumably be one of them.

Example of the kind of thing I'm talking about:

  • A clear plastic tube containing a nut and a down feather with vacuum valves at either end to allow a atmosphere-free Galilian-drop in the class room
  • Stirling engines which will run on the temperature gradient provided by a cup of coffee
  • Air-tracks and spark tables
  • ...
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  • $\begingroup$ What about a demo kit with Tapered Roller Bearing capable of turning a whole 25,000 vehicle? Know where I can get one? $\endgroup$ – Evan Carroll Jan 6 '11 at 5:42
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Seems as if with no better place to ask it, and with it being directly related to physics, it should be permissible.

Why not just permit two new tags [manufacturer], or [supplier] for questions of those sort.

  • [supplier] Where can I get a tapered bearing that can withstand 25,000 lbs?
  • [manufacturer] Where can I get a device a cheap device to demonstrate how a hovercraft works?
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how this question would be directly related to physics. If you were asking about buying an experimental device used in a physics lab (e.g. "Where can I buy a diffraction grating with 1000000 slits/inch?"), then maybe I could conceivably be convinced that it's on topic. But that is not the case here. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 23 '10 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure how you differentiate between your maybe and my definite "no." I want to buy an item governed by physics.. and this SE is physics. $\endgroup$ – Evan Carroll Dec 23 '10 at 7:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Evan: there is no item that wouldn't be governed by physics :-) The only (possibly) on-topic items would be ones required for physical experiments. And even there I'd be against it because such questions would be too localized to one particular area and wouldn't help almost no one. $\endgroup$ – Marek Dec 23 '10 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ I think you're just making my point, these questions should be allowed. They're governed by physics and physics never changes so at some point, someone will probably be looking for that information again. $\endgroup$ – Evan Carroll Dec 23 '10 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Evan: I think you missed my point completely. All of our universe is governed by physics. Does that mean that we should allow questions about religion, politics and biology here? In the end, they all boil down to physics, don't they? $\endgroup$ – Marek Dec 23 '10 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Religion isn't governed by physics. God created the laws of physics, if he exists, he can break them. To preempt where you're going with this: question about Bible publishers are not welcome here, questions about particle accelerators should be welcome here. $\endgroup$ – Evan Carroll Dec 23 '10 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ "No better [stack*] place to ask" is completely immaterial. There is no guarantee that every question belongs on a stack* site. Never has been never will be. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Dec 26 '10 at 19:29

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