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45
votes
11answers
1k views

Question self-destruction: why don't experts ask more questions?

I've been kicking around this site for a little while now and I've realized that I'm very rarely even tempted to post a question. I'm an astronomy grad student with a background in physics, so ...
41
votes
3answers
2k views

What counts as sufficient prior research when asking a question?

On Physics Stack Exchange, people asking questions are expected to demonstrate that they've put a certain amount of effort into answering the question themselves. What exactly counts as sufficient ...
40
votes
12answers
890 views

Is over-vigilant monitoring of questions driving people away from the site?

Now, I know the need to create standards for asking questions. However, particularly for first time users, the ability to ask questions in a way that this forum expects can be difficult, often due to ...
37
votes
11answers
1k views

Should we rename the homework tag as “problem-solving”, or such?

The "homework" tag is often controversial among new users who complain that their question isn't from a homework assignment (so they get offended, so edit wars happen, and posts get blocked -- e.g., ...
34
votes
4answers
870 views

Discouraging screenshots of questions - at least the textual part

[This was originally posted as an answer to another question and was transformed into a question following a comment to this effect.] To discourage rapid postings of the type alluded to in another ...
30
votes
13answers
1k views

What can be done about the (current) ongoing flood of homework and very basic questions overwhelming our site?

Since quite some time, the amount of new incoming higher level questions is decaying and the number of very basic ones is increasing, but the current inflood of bad homeworks (the good ones I ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

Should we rename the homework policy?

The homework policy is a constant source of confusion for new (and sometimes established) users. We see this confusion, for example, when users respond to closures based on the homework policy by ...
27
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are all questions I visit from other sites protected by Qmechanic?

I normally only come when clicking on some questions from other StackExchange sites. Every time the questions are protected by user Qmechanic. Is that something like the Community user? I don't see ...
26
votes
6answers
634 views

Very Naive Questions

I am troubled by the comments on this question and many others like it. The (obviously very naive) questioner posits a physically impossible situation (often FTL travel as in this case, but there are ...
26
votes
2answers
501 views

Poor reception of 'why' questions

Several times, I've seen 'why' questions dismissed unfairly when a better answer could be given, because of a kneejerk reaction that a 'why' question can never have an answer, because physics is built ...
26
votes
0answers
476 views

How I learned to stop worrying and start asking questions

As has been noted in the past, particularly in Question self-destruction: why don't experts ask more questions? and in Does reputation correlate with the question-to-answer ratio?, and also here, this ...
25
votes
2answers
508 views

Does reputation correlate with the question-to-answer ratio?

Reputation is a rough measure of a user's experience with the site. It can also be used as a (not very accurate) proxy for their overall expertise in physics. Our user population consists of people ...
24
votes
3answers
575 views

Users that post every question in their homework/exams

Everybody who's been here for a while knows that the homework policy is not as advertised. If the exercise is sufficiently interesting, and the OP is sufficiently polite, the question often stays ...
24
votes
1answer
892 views

Are questions about mathematics used in physics always off topic?

This question looks in imminent danger of being closed on the grounds that it's a pure mathematics question. This is something that happened a lot when I was more active on the site, and is one of the ...
23
votes
1answer
389 views

Canonical question about the flow of time

I was looking at: Is there really a direction of time? which is yet another question related to the flow of time, and I was thinking that it would be nice to have a master Flow of Time question that ...
22
votes
6answers
926 views

Is the demise of Stack Exchange (as we know it) ineluctable?

I feel concerned about a thought that I had recently. I am wondering if the current policy about duplicate questions may become problematic in the (very) long term for the health of Stack Exchange. ...
21
votes
4answers
612 views

Is an asker's age relevant?

In Why does Newton's Third Law actually work?, the asker states their age in the question. (They are 10 years old.) On the one hand, their age does not have anything to do with Newton's Third ...
19
votes
1answer
473 views

Why am I in risk of a questions ban after one duplicate and one closed question?

A moment ago, I wanted to ask a question on this SE about the amount of energy in human blood, but it warned me that I'm in risk of no longer being able to ask questions on this account due to a large ...
18
votes
1answer
273 views

Which of several disagreeing answers to accept?

Last week, I asked a question about an everyday physical phenomenon (In aluminum, how does electricity travel through the surface oxide layer?). I was fortunate enough to get two answers and some ...
17
votes
9answers
898 views

Opt-in to be always pingable to answer questions

Original idea: List of users with specialities who are willing to be pinged--should we do this? This is a place where users can opt in to be pinged by other users regardless of their chat status. ...
17
votes
3answers
454 views

I am having trouble improving how my questions are received

Is there a way I can improve how my current questions are received because no matter what I do they get received worse? They don't even tell me what needs improvement.
16
votes
3answers
420 views

Unusual Upvote Trends (Discussion)

Recently, I answered a question, How exactly does gravity work?, which received as of now, 30 upvotes, and I am glad that the community found the answer helpful, and of above average quality. However, ...
16
votes
2answers
420 views

Is PSE getting “flash mob” questions?

In the past couple of days (Jan 1 & 2, 2017), there have been questions asked that have received over 20 votes and over 2000 views. Answers have received dozens of upvotes. Look here and here. ...
16
votes
1answer
471 views

20 most viewed questions that need answers

Here are 20 most viewed questions that need answers. Some of these questions may have answers with negative votes. Only questions with upvotes will be removed from this list. This list will be updated ...
15
votes
2answers
174 views

A way to mark questions as non-duplicates?

I'm new to SE but practically every day I come across constructive, thought-out questions that are very quickly marked as duplicates -- while a simple comparison with the alleged duplicate shows very ...
15
votes
4answers
445 views

The Brahms vs. Bieber Effect

Brahms' music is rich and interesting, but not easily accessible to a layman. Justin Bieber's is not very interesting, but he gets downloaded from iTunes a lot. In the last week or two, there have ...
15
votes
2answers
433 views

Are homework questions becoming more common?

After hearing that homework questions are far too common one too many times, I decided to take the initiative and try to prove whether homework questions are now the primary new content of the site. ...
14
votes
5answers
684 views

Our best questions come from non-expert users

Earlier today I was eyeballing other people's badges because, you know, badges, and I came upon something of a curious observation. If you look at the answer badges - specifically Nice, Good and Great ...
14
votes
2answers
867 views

How to deal with questions based on videos?

Here are two recent questions that I would consider low in quality: Is coherent light required for interference in the Young double slit experiment? What theories explain the wave-particle duality as ...
14
votes
1answer
561 views

What is the reason that there are so many questions at this stack (physics) comparing to the others?

As far as I know on this physics stack are far more questions posted than other stacks. But why is that. I can't imagine that a study of biology, chemistry or history etc. would comprise less detailed ...
13
votes
4answers
291 views

How to stop asking duplicate questions?

Whenever I ask a question that is found to be duplicate. If I search the question previously to make sure it was not asked before it does not appear as the language of me and the question is not the ...
13
votes
4answers
179 views

Can we include homework guidance in the How to Ask sidebar?

This question is a follow-up to this question about what some of us feel is a large spike in low-level homework questions. I propose we include a specific link to our canonical homework meta question ...
13
votes
3answers
656 views

Do we want and need a set of canonical questions with canonical answers?

This is a proposal that has been discussed to some extent in the h bar chat (especially with @ACuriousMind and @alemi), and a meta post to gauge the response of the rest of the community is long ...
13
votes
1answer
255 views

Making good posts discoverable when the original question isn't obviously related

I recently answered the question "Which Is More Fundamental, Fields or Particles?" essentially by explaining what second quantization is and why it makes so much more sense than first quantization. ...
12
votes
4answers
317 views

Rethinking the “too broad” criterion

I was sad this morning to see Gil Kalai's great question about the role of rigor closed for being too broad. I was even sadder this afternoon when Prof. Kalai's narrower follow-up question, was also ...
11
votes
3answers
506 views

Why is Phys.SE so restrictive in the Q&A it is willing to accept?

There is already a Physics Overflow. Why then not being more lenient in the Q&A to be accepted in Phys.SE? Mathematics SE has 10 times as many questions. SO leads with +10M questions. Those other ...
11
votes
1answer
538 views

Massive downvotes of some questions

On occasions, some questions (usually posted by less experienced users) get massively downvoted - say, score of -5 or less. Given the reputation cannot go below 1, is there a practical site ...
11
votes
2answers
269 views

Revisiting history

I've been following the history tag for some time now, and it led me to this Phys.SE question, which was recently closed. While the cited reason was This question does not appear to be about ...
11
votes
3answers
214 views

Has our policy on astronomy questions changed now that Astronomy beta is open?

I noticed that this question was migrated to the new Astronomy beta site: https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/1845/ My understanding was that since the merger with the old astronomy site, all ...
10
votes
4answers
380 views

Data collection: When should (or shouldn't) we exclude questions from the Hot Network Questions list?

The SE team has made several promising changes to the "Hot Network Questions" system. If you have previously found HNQs to be problematic, you are invited to participate in the discussion over there. ...
10
votes
1answer
169 views

Question with two, three right answers?

I have a little dilemma. There is simple question that came up in my actual research that I'd like to ask, but I think it's forbidden by stackexchange rules, because it has more than one correct ...
10
votes
1answer
322 views

What is threshold to get ban on asking questions?

I have been registered with Physics SE for almost two months, I am not a physicist (programmer) and here not to get my homework done, but more of curious person. I have asked 8 questions so far, 3 ...
10
votes
4answers
847 views

Examples of good homework questions

I want to start this meta question as place where people can put links to well asked homework-like questions. The point is that if not so good questions are asked then we will have a meta question ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Should we repeat common questions?

This recent question on an infinite resistor grid is certainly interesting, but why should we include such questions on the site? The question has already been asked and answered many times on the ...
9
votes
3answers
300 views

What are good examples of narrowing a homework question down to a conceptual question?

It is obvious that Physics SE community aren't here to solve specific physics problems. Homework policy, however, states that a question can be narrowed down to a conceptual question. To reinforce ...
9
votes
2answers
241 views

Realistically, are atmospheric physics questions on topic and acceptable?

I have very serious doubts from my experience here (albeit, limited). Two things that I have rightly or wrongly observed from the responses (and lack thereof) to my questions: The answer I got was ...
9
votes
1answer
278 views

How to handle questions about “physical meaning”?

I'm sorta new here, so this may already have a standard procedure, but I haven't found it anywhere if it exists. Anyway, I've been seeing a lot of questions along the lines of: "What is the physical ...
9
votes
1answer
219 views

Are sophisticated Astrophysics Q's better asked in the Physics SE or Astronomy SE?

My interests primarily pertain to Astrophysics (and Astrochemistry). This subject appears to have two masters: Physics SE and Astronomy SE. How do I decide where to post, and how would you ...
9
votes
1answer
338 views

Voting to close in review tasks

Could someone explain how does the vote: close/leave-open work in the context of review tasks? Consider, please, this example: there are 6 votes there (4-close and 2-leave-open), and the question has ...
9
votes
1answer
141 views

Killing the wrong node in a question's logical chain

I noticed a question on which an interesting misunderstanding lead to inappropriate closure. For the moment, let's think of a question as a chain of proposals linked together through reasoning. Only ...