We have a lot of posts on the LHC - however, the experiments are still on-going and it's possible that some answers that were right at the time are now outdated. It's also possible that some questions are now too localised (because they are very specific to a situation and a past time) and need to be closed. Finally some questions are explicitly "What if..." questions.

What to do?

  • Vote according to the quality of the posts
  • Edit the answers if needed and possible, according to normal policy, to include updated information
  • Provide new answers if they need one
  • VTC questions which are completely obsolete (if you find any)
  • Flag completely obsolete answers for moderation attention or vote to delete
  • I've noticed some comments are obsolete too (delete them if yours or flag for a mod to delete).

Example posts to review

I'm including a few examples below, but the full list is here:

  • $\begingroup$ I just noticed - one of the questions is mine. Rest assured there was no intention of promoting my own post. $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Jan 14 '13 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ What type of obsolescence warrants closure in your opinion? After all, closing a question means "this is not considered useful and should never have been asked in this form in the first place," so it's hard to see what may cause a formerly good question to go so bad. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Jan 14 '13 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ Could you also elaborate why you want to delete "obsolete" answer? They are just answers with less information and not "wrong" technically. If you dont like that, you can just downvote it, add your new answer and add a link in the comment of their answers. Otherwise, what is the purpose of downvoting, you can just flag "incorrect" answer and ask the moderator to delete it. I dont think moderator should judge the correctness/obsoleteness of the answers, and I dont expect they are all knowledgable to do that. If questions/answers are offending, or out of the scope here, then certainly should. $\endgroup$ – unsym Jan 14 '13 at 3:20
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    $\begingroup$ @hwlau I dont think moderator should judge the correctness/obsoleteness of the answers - We don't. We usually decline flags about incorrectness. $\endgroup$ – Alenanno Jan 14 '13 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisWhite Stackexchange site strive to be a go-to repository for all objective questions [subject], and to acheive that goal need to be kept up to date. An obsolete answer should be at least given a note concerning the existecnce of new [data|version|...] and prefereably be brought up to date (possibly while retaining the now outdated text). The LHC has been a fast moving target, but it is hardly alone in that matter. I've gone back to update several of my neutrino answers because 2012 was also a big year in that sector. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jan 14 '13 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ Deletion policies: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/58842/… for questions and I've asked this as well. $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Jan 14 '13 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ Btw, for those who are questioning the validity of this post and what it is asking for, please see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/58842/… (@Sklivvz, you may want to include this link somewhere in your post, and possibly tailor your post to fit if necessary) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jan 15 '13 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ -1 what's the point of this question? $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Jul 3 '13 at 8:33

There is absolutely nothing wrong with these questions and answers. They are commpletely valid and legitimate and absolutely nothing has to be done. They all are still relevant and interesting.

The ones listed in this meta question are still relevant at present and even if their should be others which are no longer completely up to date, they may still be worth reading and having them around is a godd thing. They do not hurt and no actions have to be taken.

In fact, it is highly unlikely that questions and answers, which have initially been considered as legitimate, acceptable, or even good, have now suddenly turned closeworthy or have suddenly become so distracting and disturbing that even deleting them would be justified. Provided that the laws (or policies) on Physics SE have not suddenly changed drastically in the course of time ...

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    $\begingroup$ Nobody was asserting that there is anything wrong with these questions and answers. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 13 '13 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ "Could the LHC “blind” a satellite?". Well in my view this is such a ridiculous question to ask because the LHC was designed to primarily collide protons UNDERGROUND. So I don't think it's true to say "There is absolutely nothing wrong with these questions". $\endgroup$ – Larry Harson Jan 13 '13 at 23:43
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    $\begingroup$ @LarryHarson There IS nothing wrong with this question. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jan 13 '13 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ There are 363 posts in the full list, did you review all of them in 2 hours between my question and this answer? $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Jan 14 '13 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ @LarryHarson Without commenting on all the others, that question actually does have a purpose. The beam has to be dispersed somehow, and presently it is fired into a solid block. The question is whether there would be an adverse effect of dispersing it in the open air instead. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Jan 14 '13 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ @chris no, the purpose behind the question is clear if you look at its title. $\endgroup$ – Larry Harson Jan 14 '13 at 11:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Sklivvz I think creating jobs like reviewing 363 posts which we had looked at at the time and voted( or not) on them is an unnecessary burden even on moderators. Why? As I explain in my answer history should not be changed. Otherwise we will be living in a delusion of absolutely "correct physics". Physics is a research frontier, when questions stop being wrong in the future we will have found the theory of everything ( fat chance). The process is important. Also scientific history has shown that what was considred wrong in one century, was modern in the next ( Newton's corpuscular light) $\endgroup$ – anna v Jan 15 '13 at 6:04
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    $\begingroup$ @annav reviewing the quality of what is there and maintaining the current content is the community's job. There's nothing wrong with it and I am just facilitating it. $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Jan 15 '13 at 6:35

Moderators please realize that if there is one aspect that will make this physics.se site useful for the future is its historical snapshots. It will be a grave mistake to start deleting or modifying even answers which at the time the community accepted as valid by up voting them.

Take as an example the bruhaha with the neutrino faster than light business. A sociologist could write a masters thesis on these data and the reaction of the wider physics community :).

The experiment was corrected, but it will be wrong to go back in time and delete the history. In any case, anybody who feels strongly about changed results from old answers can also provide a new answer. There is no "date by" on ability to answer as far as a I know.

The format here is open, new questions can be asked and the matter set straight easily without deleting history.

Do not forget that people who ignore history are bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. History should be left as registered as long as at the time it was correct physics.

Paritcularly the LHC is a running experiment on a global scale and should not be retouched for cosmetic purposes.

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    $\begingroup$ You should be addressing the entire community, not (just) the moderators, because that is who has the ability to edit answers. Also, remember that editing by anyone except the original poster (or with the OP's approval) is never supposed to change the main point of a question or answer. So this thing that you are warning people against has never been okay. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 15 '13 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ We are not a historical archive, though, so there's nothing wrong in reviewing and editing what we have, or even voting. It's legitimate for the community to improve what is there and this website is made to be able to do that on purpose. $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Jan 15 '13 at 6:33
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    $\begingroup$ Well, if the owners want physics.se to become a homework answering resource, then you program is fine. Take the entries by t'Hooft which are frontier research. Suppose in six months somebody proves a no go theorem for compatibility of cellular automata and quantum mechanics. If one edits his answers, it would be vandalism, imo. Non physicists have to realize that physics and particular physics research does not work with QED and that is all there is. It is a fertile ground where arguments and propositions abound. The site will loose all research level physicists in time if such a radical $\endgroup$ – anna v Jan 15 '13 at 7:33
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    $\begingroup$ review and reediting will be undertaken. So questions about LHC will not even be answered correctly because there will be no reader who will know what it all is about. It is one thing to edit for language and form and another for content. $\endgroup$ – anna v Jan 15 '13 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky "So this thing that you are warning people against has never been okay". That is what I thought, but the question here proposes differently in two out of the six proposals for action. Anyway, asking people to review already seen and commented answers to such numbers is a bit too much, in my opinion. If the neutrino speed will come again as a question, that is the time to look at this. LHC is like asking "particle physics" at the moment, a huge field. $\endgroup$ – anna v Jan 15 '13 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ There's nothing wrong with suggesting that people go back and review old answers, when there may be new information that might affect the validity of those answers. But an answer (or question) whose core meaning is invalid or incorrect should be downvoted, not edited in such a way as to change the meaning to something which the editor thinks is correct. cc @Sklivvz $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 15 '13 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky fully agreed - furthermore the original author could do the editing if they are reviewing or if they are notified through a comment. $\endgroup$ – Sklivvz Jan 15 '13 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ Who guarantees that the new editor is correct from a physics point of view in demanding a question being edited? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jan 15 '13 at 8:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton who guarantees that anybody who posts an answer is correct? There is no guarantee or expectation of correctness, before or after editing. All I'm saying is that edits should remain true to the meaning of the original post. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 15 '13 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky by questions I meant more generally posts. I recently saw it happen, that from a physics point of view correct posts were wrongly and (in some case massively) downvoted because somebody thought (and said so) that there is something wrong with them. Such things should not happen on a serious physics site. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jan 15 '13 at 9:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton no, that is exactly what should happen on any crowdsourced Q&A site. Of course, ideally only the incorrect posts get downvoted, but the only way to determine what is incorrect and what is not is by people reviewing and commenting on the answers. Anyway, if you want to continue this discussion we should take it to Physics Chat. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 15 '13 at 9:13

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