So far I posed one question at the Physics StackExchange. Since I really want to know the answer I offered a bounty of about 70% of my reputation.

However, I am sure that a good answer to this question will require quite some work (probably more than a week) - so maybe StackExchange is not the right platform, but let me ask you nevertheless:

Is a time-scale of a week not way too short for some questions?

Would it be possible to provide some mechanism that extends the bounty-period? Perhaps by increasing the bounty after some given time-period?

  • $\begingroup$ Unless your question is about a research into unknown direction, the answer shouldn't be that hard and the fact that you don't receive it probably means that there is simply no one in the community to provide it (or at least no one who could be bothered to do the work). So extending the period wouldn't help. $\endgroup$
    – Marek
    Feb 12, 2011 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ I thought the bounty was too short lived as well. I'm not sure that extending would help in most cases. I suspect that after physics is older the minimum cost of 50 will seem like less of a burden to more people, and with more users, the answers will be faster. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2011 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Presumably you mean Black hole analog experiment?. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2011 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, precisely, I mean the Black hole experiment. The question itself is not difficult, I think, but it may be hard to find a satisfying answer. So in that sense it is "research into unknown direction", but IMHO a clever student could find the answer. Finding the answer requires not a lot of detailed knowledge, but rather some ingenuity. This is why I thought StackExchange could be a good platform to pose this question. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2011 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


The bounty period has always been 7 days. I can suggest a few things.

  • Bounties can be repeated indefinitely, so long as you have the reputation; try smaller bounties over a longer period of time

  • The site may need to grow larger to find the audience to answer your question, so you might try again in a few months.

  • Some questions are fundamentally obscure / difficult / unanswerable. Bounties on these questions are not magical, they cannot solve everything. Consider, is there something you can do to make your question more clear, break it down or simplify it in any way?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Repeating a bounty is not the same as what I had in mind, though, because one would have to award half of the bounty every 7 days. Would it make sense to opt for an extension of the bounty time provided one sacrifices more reputation? E.g. every week one could add a certain amount to the bounty, without awarding (part of) it prematurely. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2011 at 16:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Daniel Grumiller: there are many requests to extend, update, accumulate etc bounties at meta.SO, unfortunately mostly in vain. See e.g. this, this or that $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2011 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Tobias Kienzler: thanks for the links. Maybe it is not just about the bounty period, but about the overall attention span time-scales - 1 week is almost nothing for tough questions. The issue therefore maybe just is: should PhysicsStackexchange encourage or discourage tough, more research oriented, questions? $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2011 at 16:03

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