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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41
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12answers
1k views

Folks, we need to talk about the surface-area-of-a-chicken question

This question How do I find the approximate surface area of a chicken? underwent a severe close/reopen yo-yo cycle. It was closed once by a moderator, then reopened by community members, then re-...
33
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3answers
1k 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
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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 ...
30
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4answers
685 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 ...
29
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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
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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 ...
27
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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-...
27
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8answers
2k 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 ...
26
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4answers
684 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 ...
25
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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
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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
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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 ...
23
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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. ...
22
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5answers
6k 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
757 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 ...
21
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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 ...
21
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3answers
777 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 ...
20
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5answers
4k 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 ...
20
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4answers
676 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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4answers
692 views

Should we leave technical astronomy questions to Astronomy SE?

In 2012, when the first incarnation of Astronomy SE closed, the community at Physics SE felt compelled to give a home to astronomy questions and overwhelmingly voted to expand the scope of the site. ...
19
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8answers
973 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 think they ...
19
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4answers
623 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
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5answers
515 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 ...
17
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2answers
442 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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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 ...
15
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7answers
2k 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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8answers
755 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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6answers
785 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 ...
15
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1answer
391 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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5answers
489 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 ...
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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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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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
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2answers
311 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 ...
13
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2answers
264 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
493 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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2answers
947 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 ...
11
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8answers
1k 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 ...
11
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4answers
545 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
271 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
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
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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 ...
11
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2answers
296 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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2answers
328 views

May I ask questions about physics lab equipments?

I'm looking for a specific lab equipment, but I don't know the exact English words to describe it, so my searches are useless. To give an idea, I'm interested in a gyroscope with gimbals and a motor ...
11
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3answers
221 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 ...
11
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0answers
216 views

Are Fermi problems allowed on physics.stackexchange? [duplicate]

I am new to physics.stackexchange.com, but I not new to Stack Exchange per se. I asked a question which I consider a Fermi problem: In physics or engineering education, a Fermi problem [...] is an ...
10
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7answers
859 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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3answers
584 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 ...

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