Most people on this website, who happen to have some "reputation", don't want to solve homework questions, all they want to do is put questions on hold, because apparently , the questions are "off-topic", and frankly quite stupid, or so I have read. Which coerces me to question, what is the topic? If one asks the process which a gas undergoes in a thermodynamics questions, under the thermodynamics tag, I suppose one's on point , alright . But instead of answering the question, these reputed members of this community put the question on hold. They instead prefer to solve questions which are way simpler, such as questions regarding simple free-body diagrams,because that stuff is dauntingly hard right? Or instead, they love to talk about physics in a rather random sense, discussing things much beyond their own scope of understanding. The nature of most of their questions is quite whimsical, and more often than not, the said questions reflect no effort on their part, and yet they are the reputed members of this community, just because they took time to edit grammatical or formatting errors in other posts.The perfect way to support this community, as I seem to perceive it, is to blabber about physics , google some more, and then blabber some more again, redundantly. What's the point?

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    $\begingroup$ If you are dissatisfied with your experience in this website, I very warmly invite you to seek answers on another one. The question you linked is, in my opinion, a very bad question both on the formulation and content (and I was not the only one to think that way). In addition, despite its awfulness, you received a couple of hints on how to solve the problem. I really wholeheartedly encourage you to search for a dedicated homework solving website, and abandon this one. $\endgroup$
    – yuggib
    Dec 3 '15 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ Fine, if it is indeed a very bad question, then I encourage you to solve it, and tell me the correct option ( not the solution), and if it's the correct answer, then I see your point, but I suppose I can safely say that you can't solve it. $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '15 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ I deleted a lot of comments which were getting a bit argumentative, and diverged from the goal of improving or discussing this meta question. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Dec 3 '15 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ Oh and the hints I received were useless, because all the hint implied was that the process was reversible, which anybody could have discerned.@yuggib $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '15 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ Attempting to provoke an answer isn't going to get you very far. Ask a well formulated physics question and you will likely get a good answer. But, I don't ask you to do my homework, so don't ask me to do yours. And, lots of people ask us to do their homework for them, which means they don't learn anything. Can I do the problem? Yes, I certainly can. But then you wouldn't actually learn anything since you haven't shown you have even tried. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 3 '15 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ I don't want the solution good sir, I just want the option choice which is correct, which I happen to already know, so you won't actually be doing my homework. Plus this isn't not homework, this was part of a test I gave. I couldn't really solve this question, my teachers couldn't either , nor could my fellow peers, still think this is a stupid question? Ignore the formatting of my question, I suppose that has been rectified, but focus on the problem, for once. $\endgroup$ Dec 4 '15 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yawn, voting to close. $\endgroup$ Dec 6 '15 at 1:59

The point of this site can be found on the Tour page,

Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics and astronomy. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about physics, astronomy and astrophysics.

And like every Stack Exchange site, we have certain policies in place to ensure that we can deliver the stated goal of the site. It may take some time for you to read through them, but those linked Q&A's are important to understand the purpose of this site & what is "on topic" (though a shorter summary can be found here).

Among those, is the homework policy that you have come across. I urge you to read through it (it's actually well-reasoned, despite your assertions it's not). Simply put, we do not want the reputation of being a homework help site. We want to be a site that contains high-quality conceptual questions about physics (and no, answering homework questions isn't a concept).

If you really want your homework questions answered by someone else, there are plenty of other places online with that expressed purpose; it just isn't what we do.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for linking to the list of other sites and for the explanation. I would add that I'm not such a fan of the wording in the tour page, because we don't want to build a library of answers to every question. We want to build a library of answers to a certain subset of questions, which one might call "conceptual" or "well posed" (or "elite" or other things, some people might say). In principle no concept within physics/astronomy/astrophysics is off topic, but depending on how the question is asked, it might be. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Dec 3 '15 at 14:23

Against better judgement, I will engage but with the warning now that I don't really plan on participating in a discussion; I will simply post my answer and move on.

This is our sandbox. We (as in the people who have been around for awhile, and who have discussed and voted on policies, and who participate regularly and enjoy the site) have talked about homework and answering those types of questions. And although there is some dissent, we just don't like doing it and don't consider them to be on-topic.

Sorry, that's just not the sandbox we want to play in.

Regarding your closed question specifically -- and I think somebody left a comment there to this effect -- you didn't even put in the effort to properly type and format the question. You took a picture of your homework and stuck it in there and didn't show any effort/respect for the way the site likes to operate. I can't say that typing it up properly and adding your own diagram and explaining your thought process clearly in a way that isn't just a wall of text would salvage the question. But it would certainly earn a bit more respect, at least for the effort made.

And lastly, even if it were open, I don't think many people would be interested in answering it. You ask for the name of something and the formula. That's not interesting. It may be helpful to you, may be helpful to somebody later who searches for something similar (another reason to type your question as text -- nobody will be able to search for and find your question as related when it's all in a picture) but it just isn't interesting to name something and move on. We're all volunteers here and we participate for our own varied reasons and when it works for us.

In other words, if somebody doesn't see the challenge or fun in answering, it won't get answered. And the challenge/fun may be to educate somebody, or because it is thought provoking, or whatever. But naming a formula to use in a photo of a homework question doesn't strike me as either.

  • $\begingroup$ I didn't ask for the name of "something", I asked for the name of the thermodynamic process involved. I didn't ask for a formula, I needed HELP in identifying the process so that I could proceed further. I get your argument against formatting, but feel free to pickup the pen and solve this question , and see if it really does provoke your thought process because this is not a trivial problem from some high school textbook. Try to solve it, do tell me if you actually did. $\endgroup$ Dec 3 '15 at 14:24

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