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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 ...
44
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 ...
41
votes
12answers
939 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 ...
39
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., ...
37
votes
4answers
1k views

Discouraging the use of textual screenshots in questions

[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 ...
32
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
2answers
576 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
801 views

Should history of physics questions be on topic?

When we last visited the issue of history questions, the dedicated History of Science and Mathematics Stack Exchange was in its early stages. At that time, we decided against closing questions for ...
28
votes
1answer
371 views

The $F=ma$ competition was February 18th, 2021

The $F=ma$ competition is the largest physics competition in the United States, and took place online the afternoon after this Meta question first appeared. It is a multiple choice exam with tricky ...
28
votes
0answers
529 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
781 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
392 views

Add a link and hint to use MathJax to the new question dialog

We like to see MathJax used on Physics SE for equations, but at present when you are typing in a new question I think there is no on-screen link to the MathJax "guide" or a reminder to use ...
25
votes
2answers
524 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
674 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
1k 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. ...
23
votes
1answer
399 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
361 views

Are questions about the identification of physical phenomena on-topic?

This question was just closed as off-topic. It is a well presented question, which was well-received, and it got a good, canonical answer. The stated reason for closing was that "it doesn't ...
20
votes
4answers
660 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
3answers
460 views

Is it encouraged to write an answer to your own question if it is just a summary of the comments?

I recently asked a question on how the uncertainity principle applies to a situation described there. There have been some comments, which, I think are at least partial answers. I commented that and ...
19
votes
1answer
494 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
622 views

Bounty on “entrance exam” question

On the question Why is the center of a torch beam visible even through an opaque body like my finger?, the OP started a bounty stating I really need this material to answer my entrance examination ...
19
votes
5answers
514 views

Is error-analysis not a physics topic?

I have a question about my Physics Stack Exchange post: How to incorporate the uncertainty of the model coefficients in the prediction interval of a multiple linear regression I am dealing with a ...
18
votes
3answers
564 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.
18
votes
1answer
291 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
909 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
2answers
444 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
3answers
437 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
3answers
989 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
490 views

Can we do better at reducing bike-shedding?

"Bike-shedding" is a phenomenon where there is excessive discussion of a topic because it seems easy, so everyone feels that they are competent to discuss it. We seem to have a couple of recent ...
16
votes
4answers
467 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
238 views

When are questions with multiple different possible answers good?

It is well known that we do not encourage/allow questions that solicit open-ended discussions or that can only be answered by providing personal opinions, etc. However, at least to me, it seems a bit ...
15
votes
5answers
726 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
175 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
2answers
240 views

Care over closing “duplicate” questions

On a number of occasions, I have seen questions closed as duplicates although the linked question either did not have answers, or had only poor answers, and in some cases it had already been closed (...
15
votes
3answers
757 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
442 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
1answer
566 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
511 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
318 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
187 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
4answers
330 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
256 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
3answers
278 views

When I post a self-answer, is it expected that in the question I should pretend I don't know the answer?

Stack Exchange explicitly encourages writing a self-answer, when appropriate. Derek Muller posted a video about a wind-powered vehicle that can go downwind faster than that downwind itself. (The ...
12
votes
2answers
336 views

“You did the measurement wrong” is not an answer

I've seen two hot network questions in the past two days where one of the highly upvoted answers was a variation on "you did your measurement wrong". In both cases, this answer was ...
11
votes
4answers
431 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
533 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
291 views

Does 'Semiconductor Physics' have a home in Physics SE?

I have seen a number of questions on PN-Junctions, Avalanche Breakdown, Biasing and MOS...etc, that have gone largely untouched; which is understandable, do these types of questions belong here or ...

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