This may seem like a silly question but there is some merit to it. From what I have seen, most of the questions with the electric-circuits tag get voted off or get multiple comments that it should be in the Electrical Engineering SE. Even though engineering (especially electrical) has large overlapping areas with physics, I can understand most physics members not wanting to answer EE questions because it feels like you're outside of your zone. So my question is, with this current state, why not just get rid of the tag to discourage hardware questions on our feed?


The reason we have the tag is that basic circuits are a part of any standard introductory electromagnetism class. It's a matter of some opinion where you draw the line for "basic", but it's usually taken to include batteries, switches, resistors (including light bulbs and wires), capacitors, inductors, various kinds of (idealized) meters, and maybe diodes. Simple circuits are a very effective way of introducing some core physics concepts that get used all the way up through quantum field theory etc., so if you wanted to argue that even these simple circuits should not be within our scope, I suspect you'd have a tough time of it.

Any more complicated circuits are generally taken to be beyond the scope of physics. I don't think we get many of those questions, though.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree 100% percent, but it seems that ANY circuit question goes unanswered and written off as EE by the first five commenters. The OP would have a much better chance to go straight to EE. The other day, someone asked a super simple question about a capacitor network and at least two people said it was off-topic and Idk how many more flagged it as so. I went ahead and answered it because it was clearly in the scope of "simple" as you have defined. @DavidZ $\endgroup$ – M Barbosa Jun 13 '16 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ Example of a question that is clearly on-topic here and should have the tag: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/7936/…. (I suppose it would also be on-topic on EE, but that doesn't change its status here.) $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jun 13 '16 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MBarbosa you mean this one? That's not relevant here, it's a no-effort homework-like question. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jun 13 '16 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ yeah I guess that one was pretty low effort but I personally don't mind at least giving on hw. $\endgroup$ – M Barbosa Jun 13 '16 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ And @dmckee thanks! I guess I just haven't come across many good ones like that. $\endgroup$ – M Barbosa Jun 13 '16 at 23:47

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