Questions tagged [scope]

For discussions about the site's scope - what questions and topics should and should not be on-topic on the site.

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32
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3answers
976 views

Experimental Physics & Engineering

I know that most of us are "paper theorists," but I think we need to remember that experimental physics is physics too! We have several tags for experimental physics (with tag excerpts): ...
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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 ...
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4answers
617 views

If it's possible, do we want to expand the scope of this site to include astronomy?

It was recently announced that several SE sites are closing, including Theoretical Physics and Astronomy. Given that our scope here is basically a superset of the scope of Theoretical Physics and that ...
26
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2answers
716 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 ...
26
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2answers
500 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Ultimately, what will the Physics Stack Exchange Become? Are there long term goals?

It was sometime back that I realized what we are synthesizing here (possibly) is an archive for an expert system. Put the Physics Stack Exchange together with an AI machine and you have a super-...
25
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4answers
642 views

What does everyone mean by “insufficient research effort”?

Lately I've noticed a lot of close votes, down votes, and comments to the effect of "this question is too low level" or "the answer is on the internet if you search for it" or "you should already know ...
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8answers
1k views

“No math, please” questions

There are more and more questions, which are formulted like "Can you explain that without math?" or "I know that there is math, but is there an explanation in plain words?" or even "Can you tell ...
24
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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
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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
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6answers
1k views

What are the goals of this site?

This discussion question is inspired by this post on the current homework policy question. The main question is What are the goals of this site? Some things to think about when answering: What is ...
22
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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
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5answers
5k views

Should any check-my-work questions be made on topic?

It's long overdue that I make this post revisiting our policy on "check-my-work" questions. These are questions, often (but not necessarily) homework-like, that present a complete mathematical or ...
21
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6answers
707 views

Level of questions: what do we do now ?

There has been a lot of discussions about the level of the questions and the quality of the questions. It seems to me that we have a core group of users, that are following Physics SE from a long ...
20
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4answers
643 views

Are history of physics questions allowed?

I've been meaning to ask about the timeline of discovery of a certain physical phenomenon on the main site, but I thought I should probably ask a more general question here on meta to clear the air: ...
20
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3answers
707 views

Graduate and above level questions aren't homework

I know, I know, it's yet another Meta post about our homework policy. Feel free to downvote and write abusive comments if you're heartily sick of posts about the homework policy. If you're still with ...
19
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8answers
937 views

What can be done to improve Physics.SE as an active forum for physics researchers and student's?

As noted elsewhere, I have personally discontinued use of Physics.SE, since it seems to me that it no longer acts as a forum for research based physics Q&A. Over the past 12 months there has in my ...
19
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23answers
1k views

Replacing the homework policy 1: what existing questions should be on/off topic?

TL;DR: post examples of current questions which are edge cases for the new policy, look through the list, and vote answers UP if you think they should be ON TOPIC vote answers DOWN if you ...
19
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5answers
3k views

Are engineering questions appropriate for this site?

Often we get questions of the form "How do I build this particular device?" or "Why was this design implemented in such-and-such product?" Are these questions appropriate for the Physics Stack ...
17
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2answers
438 views

Should “Biophysics” fork?

I see that in Area51 a proposal exists to create an independent Biophysics SE site. I have mixed feelings, but I support the initiative (so far its popularity is low). In any case, I think that in ...
16
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8answers
1k views

Should pure math questions be on topic?

We've previously had some discussion about the suitability of pure math questions for this site. Currently, pure math questions - by which I mean those that have no physics content, even if they arise ...
16
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8answers
586 views

Why is this question not considered an off-topic homework problem?

This question currently has a bounty on it and is receiving a lot of attention. But to me it looks like a question that is normally closed for being off-topic. The question reads like a homework ...
15
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7answers
1k views

Generalizing the homework policy

In our last chat session two weeks ago (sorry for the delay), we had a discussion about updating the homework policy and homework close reason. I'm making this post to summarize that discussion and ...
15
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1answer
388 views

Is the question 'explaining gravity to a six-year-old' off-topic?

I recently asked this question about explaining gravity to a 6 year old and it made it into the "Hot Network Questions" list. It generated a lot of discussion and has some very good answers. ...
14
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6answers
688 views

Replacing the homework policy 1b: what is our scope anyway?

Abstract: Analyzing the data from the last replace-the-homework-policy question was inconclusive. So back to the drawing board, or really back to our starting point: what kinds of questions do we ...
14
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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
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2answers
1k views

Do we need/want an overarching books question?

The current tag wiki for the books - now resource-recommendation - tag includes, in its final paragraph, the request that If you question is about resource-recommendations, please add your question ...
13
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5answers
452 views

How should we handle how-to-find-a-specific-reference requests?

We occasionally get "find me a PDF" requests, where a user knows exactly the paper she needs and (presumably because of a paywall) asks how to obtain an electronic copy of it. This has typically been ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Why is it not allowed to ask about the mathematical prerequisites to understand string theory?

Many people have tried in one way or another to ask about the mathematical prerequisites to study or understand string theory, but all their (up voted!) question have been and are being closed before ...
13
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2answers
251 views

What are the boundaries of “biophysics” on Physics SE?

The question Presumably, biophysics questions run a wide range from those that are primarily biology questions with a little physics input to those that are primarily physics questions applied to a ...
13
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3answers
476 views

Asking math questions

I understand that asking pure math questions on the physics site is discouraged and I've seen many questions moved over to math. However, often times such questions are more suited for physicists to ...
12
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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 ...
12
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2answers
279 views

Where to ask questions about teaching physics?

There is https://matheducators.stackexchange.com/, https://cseducators.stackexchange.com, and https://chemistry.stackexchange.com which is geared towards teachers. Physics teachers seem to lack such ...
11
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4answers
514 views

What does this community mean by students?

So the title says all. What is the meaning of a student of Physics as per this community? I ask this because there are students at many levels: 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders, undergraduates, ...
11
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1answer
262 views

Is this question about a recent paper on topic?

Is this question on topic? Or should it be? How come some people are claiming that the Big Bang never happened? I actually had the same question (namely how valid is the conclusion) but felt it ...
11
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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
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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
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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
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7answers
789 views

Once and for all, what is up with the metaphysics questions?

I don't mean to pollute the site with more discussion of metaphysics questions, but I'm genuinely confused by the community's response to this and I want to figure out what is going on. There were a ...
10
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2answers
766 views

Is Physics SE an appropriate location for peer review?

What peer review style questions are acceptable to ask on Physics SE and what actions, if any, should be taken against unacceptable questions? When I originally encountered this question and its ...
10
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3answers
558 views

What is our stance on questions about legally or ethically questionable activities?

This question about exercises relating to nuclear bomb design prompted a couple of complaints about the kind of attention it might bring to the site. I wanted to open a question for community input on ...
9
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7answers
473 views

Should we allow software questions? (take 2)

I recently noticed this question: What is the format for "local catalog" files used by JSkyCat? Apparently it was migrated from Astronomy SE, and was on topic there according to the ...
9
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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
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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
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7answers
210 views

Why are these off-topic questions off topic?

Today I've seen a bunch of examples on the site of a certain type of question. In order to avoid priming responses, I'm not going to give this type of question a name. Instead, let me show by example ...
9
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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
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1answer
434 views

Questions that look like senseless, but with sensible answers

Here are two questions that do not make sense, while reading them: At CERN - What do you call the moment (event) particles crash together in the particle accelerator? Is there a proof of existence ...
9
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1answer
298 views

What kind of `[education]` questions should we allow?

I've seen questions about how to study physics or how physics should be taught being dealt with in a variety of ways. Some get downvoted, some get closed by moderators while others are even answered ...
9
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1answer
603 views

What questions should be considered to close by 3000+ users? [closed]

As long as we don't have many hi-rep users, it is useful to have a place with list of candidates to close; at least it worked well on other betas. Rules: Add a link to the candidate for closure ...
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8answers
900 views

What should be the status of cold fusion on this site?

There have been a few questions asked about cold fusion on this site, especially in recent days. Invariably they lead to extended arguments, which is not healthy for the site - the whole Stack ...