There have been a large number of threads recently(And not so recently) like 1 2 3 4

There are 2 Issues, As I see it, The homework Level questions are being closed by the moderators often, even if they are precisely posed and well defined.(Link 2) And they do not get the attention they deserve.

Second is, The site is getting cluttered. On an average day it sees, ~40 questions and tends get very cluttered, and many interesting questions do not stay long enough for people to take notice.(Link 1)

There have been some suggestions including my own( Link 3,4).

How do you think physics stack exchange will scale as time passes? Do you think it will be able to handle say twice or thrice the amount of traffic, Which is only a matter of time.(There has been a 3 fold increase in questions since 2011)

Do you find the site to be getting cluttered? If so, Can Something be done about it?

  • $\begingroup$ There are 11 sites in the SE network that have more questions per day than we do. (Stack Overflow gets almost 7000 q/day, compared to which 40 is nothing.) So we can look to those as an indicator of what problems, if any, we might experience as a result of increased activity. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Jun 9, 2013 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZaslavsky The average question does not stay on the main page for more than a day. Which is why I say the page is cluttered, It is not easy to navigate across tropics. It is filled with many rather basic questions. Usually advanced questions require answers that take time to construct and often require more than a day due to the specialized audience involved. And the end result is questions being lost in the mess. I think even at 40 there is clutter, and will only get worse. Good physics requires time. and one day is not sufficient time to gather requisite attention. $\endgroup$
    – Prathyush
    Jun 10, 2013 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that there are far too many basic questions. Especially irritating are homework problems consisting solely in the statement of the problem and showing no hint of personal work. These should be automatically closed (with a brief explanation as to the reason, of course). $\endgroup$ Jun 10, 2013 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


I think the clutter issue falls on the end user. By choosing favorite tags and ignored tags (and hiding the ignored tags if it pleases you), it's very easy for me to find what I would like, even though my interest area doesn't have many questions that come in ().

The one suggestion I would make is getting the "Interesting" tab on the physics.SE site (and honestly, on all of them) like there is on SO. This tab only pulls in questions that I would be interested in based on my tags and history. If that could be added to all SE sites, it should solve the problem provided end users set up their preferences.

As for the first issue you raised, the idea that too many homework problems are being closed, I think the community has already resolved that. The link you posted is heavily downvoted indicating the community disagrees with the idea that more basic questions should be encouraged.

We are not here to help with homework problems. We are here, however, to assist people in understanding the concepts that are the foundation of all aspects of physics. So, some homework questions are allowed. But only if they show considerable effort on the part of the person asking, and only if they are limited to asking for help understanding the underlying physical principles.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you make a feature requestion intended to get this "interesting" tab for Physics SE too? $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Jun 9, 2013 at 22:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton Done: meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/4384 $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Jun 9, 2013 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with your answer tpg2114. Still, I think it's worth considering whether the relative frequency of topic difficulty on the front page is appropriate. There is a real risk in driving away researchers from this website if the front page is loaded with physics 101 question, even if those researchers could have a pleasant experience if they took the time to properly set up their preferences. Would it be that difficult to simply make sure no more than 1 or 2 questions have the homework tag? $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2013 at 22:15

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