What was, in your opinion, the best question asked in 2016?

Vote either by posting an answer linking to your favorite question, with a brief description of why it's your favorite, or by upvoting an existing post. Voting lasts two weeks, i.e. until Jan 29 2017.

This is part of the Best-of PSE 2016. If you are interested in providing a prize bounty for the winner (mostly highly upvoted answer of this meta post), please comment.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Here's a tool that may help people looking for good answers: data.stackexchange.com/physics/query/615916/2016-questions $\endgroup$ – karatechop Jan 15 '17 at 1:39
  • $\begingroup$ @heather but we want good questions for this award not good answers $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Jan 21 '17 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Kenshin, it produces questions, not answers. $\endgroup$ – karatechop Jan 21 '17 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @heather ok cool, you just said in your initial comment it was for answers so wanted to clarify :) $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Jan 21 '17 at 23:58

Partition function for Gaussian white noise

I like this question because it brings together two seemingly disparate areas of physics: noise (i.e. stochastic processes) and the partition function. The latter of these two is normally encountered in the context of statistical mechanics, so it's interesting and aesthetically pleasing to see a link established between teh partition function and stochastic processes.

It's a good question because OP states the problem concisely, shows effort, and asks for help on a particular step.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 many pretty equations $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Jan 26 '17 at 0:09

From discrete to continuous - why quantum *fields*?

This fundamental question invites us to revisit assumptions we probably originally take for granted.


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