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Every now and again we get good questions in the new theoretical physics site, which are nevertheless not part of our mandate. Those are questions that are not directly research-related, perhaps they are related to standard textbook material, or popular science articles or books, or something else which I feel (as a moderator) are outside the scope of our site.

Whenever I judge a question to be interesting and well-formed, but otherwise inappropriate, I'd like to be able to direct it to this site, and hope it will be treated well. I've done that once thus far, with this question:

What are some predictions from string theory that say some crystalline materials "will end up in one of many lowest-energy ground states?"

which received no answers and one strange comment, but it is only a sample of one so far. Apparently, when I direct questions here they appear immediately, without the local moderator input. Therefore, before I continue to add to this site potentially large amount of unwanted material, I'd like some feedback from this community whether directing questions here in the future is welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ Georg leaves a lot of strange comments, that's just his style ;-) $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 27 '11 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I figured that, but I still want to make sure I am doing the right thing. $\endgroup$ – user566 Oct 27 '11 at 17:36
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In general, I'd say you can safely go ahead and migrate them. Since the domain of TP.SE is a subspace of that of Physics.SE, anything that is only slightly off topic on your site will almost certainly be on topic here. Honestly, from what I've seen so far on TP.SE I suspect it will be very rare that anything posted there will actually be inappropriate for migration to Physics (except for spam or obvious nonsense, which you can of course recognize as such).

In any case, if you do migrate something that for some reason is not appropriate, it's not hard to deal with; we can just close it, or reverse the migration by deleting the question here and clearing the migration history on TP. If there's something you're not sure about, you can always ask in chat, or migrate it and flag the migrated question here on Physics for moderator attention. (I usually flag questions that I migrate to other sites as a courtesy to the moderators there, but it's not required)

P.S. The one question you migrated so far seems perfectly fine here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the useful advice. $\endgroup$ – user566 Oct 27 '11 at 18:06
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Go on, but don't expect migrates in the opposite direction, since this site is still for questions from all levels.

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  • $\begingroup$ I haven't thought about the converse question. I'd hope that if a professional theoretical physicist comes here with a specific technical question related to their research, and fails to get a good answer, someone here will then have the good sense to show them the way to theoreticalphysics.SE. On the other hand, perhaps direct migration is not the way to go, we don't want a series of migrate-and-close sequences, so perhaps it is best to give the information of our existence to the OP and leave it up to them. Of course, this is just my personal opinion, other people may disagree. $\endgroup$ – user566 Oct 27 '11 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ We're also not supposed to migrate questions to beta sites, as a general rule (which I have occasionally forgotten). So as long as TP.SE is in beta, we won't be migrating questions to it anyway, though I suppose from time to time we might "manually" refer people there. But as mbq did point out, anything on topic for TP.SE is also on topic here, which reduces the motivation to migrate in the first place... I suppose we'll figure this out as we go. $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 27 '11 at 17:38

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