The post I speak of is below.

What does the discovery of a pentaquark signify?

Whilst OP has hardly been perfect in their articulation of the question, it does to me seem to be clear what they're asking. They want to know about what the discovery of the Pentaquark means for physics.

Popular media has been reporting about the discovery of the Pentaquark in CERN this July. For those of us who watched much of the Higgs Boson media campaign, it's reasonably obvious that the reporting of big physics news in popular media isn't exactly precise.

My point is, that for those people who want to know about more exact implications of such discoveries on the Physics world, they might come here and ask questions. I'm guessing that that's what OP was trying to do above.

I have a bit of a problem with comments on the question like these:

While I was first tempted to answer this in more detail, I decided to merely point out that it isn't exactly a physics question. "Significance" is primarily a matter of opinion. Was it necessary to search for these states that are being predicted by the standard model? Yes, it was absolutely necessary and it will be necessary to check the prediction against the measurements to see if there are significant discrepancies.


The QCD still works?


"Is there a theory that it supports or something like that?"... Yes, the theory has been around for decades. It is called Quantum Chromodynamics and it is part of the Standard Model. Pentaquarks are not a surprise and we do not need any new theory.

Someone's genuinely curious about the wider applications in Physics that a discovery might have.

Particularly the way in which this question has been answered, to me, seems condescending and disparaging. Perhaps if the more knowledgable users in the community are not willing to read into these questions to try and work out what OP is actually trying to ask (albeit without much finesse), they should keep the unhelpful comments to themselves.

I'm not really sure what solution I'm proposing here. I understand the frustration when someone asks a vague question, but answering it with pointless comments which can be interpretted as condescending seems to compound the problem, not help. I hope this doesn't appear to be a rant about a specific case, either. This is just a recent example which I'm using.

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    $\begingroup$ My comment on that post wasn't pointless. I believe I said that "significance" is not a physics question and that the discovery was indeed necessary because the standard model predicts these particles. If they hadn't been found there would have been significant problems with the standard model. I am curious to know what was wrong with that comment? $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Oct 29 '15 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ I gather from the comments here that the comment which started this whole discussion came from @CuriousOne. Matt S, you're somewhat new-ish around here so you probably just don't know that CuriousOne posts a lot of discouraging comments. It's part of the woodwork on this site. I'm not saying that's ok; I think I've flagged more comments by CuriousOne than anybody else. I think a discussion about the tone of comments and answers might be in order, but really only if we have enough examples, which we don't here. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Nov 1 '15 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielSank: Except that in this case the comment was not discouraging, but thanks for nothing. It is true that I do post sharply worded comments and that I discourage people to enter dead ends when I see that they are conceptually heading in the wrong direction. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Nov 1 '15 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ @CuriousOne I don't know what your comment said since it's not reproduced here and was, apparently, deleted from its original place. Sharp words have deleterious effects in human communication. We have feelings and fragile egos. We read into the tone of the spoken and written word. That tone can easily distract the learner from the important physics; I would take the existence of this meta post as evidence in that direction. If the goal really is to help out, why don't we use softer tone with the same content? Also, you could thank me for being honest, or do you not like my tone? $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Nov 1 '15 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielSank: That's exactly my point. You don't know what that comment was because it has been erased. So how do you know that it was pointless? Can I have a fair trial, please, including evidence? :-) As for fragile egos... if you have a fragile ego you won't last long in science... but you know that, right? :-) $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Nov 1 '15 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @CuriousOne: Quick chat about this? $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Nov 1 '15 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ There are five up-votes on your offer to edit in the original comments. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Nov 1 '15 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank ah, thanks, I didn't notice since I hadn't been pinged. $\endgroup$ – David Z Nov 1 '15 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ wow this is about me! what should I do to improve my question?am I famous?? $\endgroup$ – random user Nov 1 '15 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ Just to clarify about this, CuriousOne's comment wasn't actually the one I was specifically worried about. But I'm glad the issue has at least been discussed a bit here. $\endgroup$ – Matt Nov 3 '15 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ Q: "Of what significance to physics is a null result of the Michelson-Morley Experiment?" A: "Significance" is not a physics question $\endgroup$ – user56903 Nov 9 '15 at 17:41

You can flag the comments. For comments like these, the "not constructive" flag is typically appropriate, or if it's particularly vicious, use "rude or offensive".

It's also worth keeping in mind that we want most people who ask questions on this site to be those who care about their questions and the broader physics context. In other words, "I was just curious"-type questions are not really what we're here for. So if someone asks a question without bothering to do simple things like checking Wikipedia, searching the web, etc., we will intentionally fail to be particularly accommodating. Same goes for when a poster is asking a question where they are clearly out of their depth (like, hypothetically: "I don't know any calculus but prove to me that the pentaquark should exist"-type questions).

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    $\begingroup$ I appreciate that, and it does make sense. In regards to the first point, I suppose I'm just complaining here in order to disuade it a little more in the future. And again in regards to your second remark, that does make sense. I suppose what I'm getting at is that as opposed to posting said deliberately unaccommodating comments, it might be better to simply leave it? If OP doesn't then get an answer they're looking for, they might get the message. If it's a "repeat offender", in regards to posting questions without research, perhaps it might be more justified? $\endgroup$ – Matt Oct 29 '15 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ "I suppose I'm just complaining here in order to disuade it a little more in the future." - a fool's errand. Oh good grief, my comment is a fool's errand. $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri Oct 31 '15 at 1:22

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