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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Textbook questions

There seems to be quite a lot of questions that demand for textbook answers. These are technically not homework questions - i.e., they are not asking for solutions to problems - but grounded in not ...
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Would this question be on-topic here? Might it be likely to receive an answer?

I'm writing a program and need a way to identify and enumerate the number of possible distinct crystallographic domains when depositing one 2D lattice on top of another. I've posed this as a question ...
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Is this question about the meaning of derivations on topic?

Are derivations of physical laws less important than the laws themselves? This question is attracting a lot of attention, but there is a significant disagreement about whether it's on topic. I want ...
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1answer
148 views

Is asking for references OK?

Or should only substantive questions be allowed? If not, is there another place to ask reference questions? Actually, I would like to ask reference questions, so I will make this a feature-request, ...
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Questions on Mathematica permissible?

I am doing a lot of physics on Mathematica and am running into questions regarding the software. Are these ok to ask in the main section? Anywhere where they might be more appropriate?
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Soft-question or off-topic question?

Where is the boundary between a soft-question and an off-topic question? The issue has come up in connection to question Does physics explain why the laws and behaviors observed in biology are as they ...
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What if we clean several shopping questions..?

Today, I accidentally went through the questions under telescopes tag and all questions confused me totally. Looks like, there are many questions that seem to me like off-topic. I've listed several ...
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Are “Puzzle” Questions Appropriate?

May I ask questions that I know the answer to, but are puzzles? For example, can I ask whether the level of water in a cup of ice water goes up or down while the ice melts? This is a standard ...
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Answering own question: “work” of the question in own answer

After reading the links provided by the mods in a question I recently posted with an answer, I believe that my question conforms in spirit the criteria that the moderators have tried to infuse in our ...
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Is the question “Who is it appropriate to acknowledge in a journal paper?” OK to go on the Physics Stack Exchange site?

The question is: If I write a paper where I am the sole author, and the only person I have discussed the research with before publication is my non-physicist partner, is it appropriate to acknowledge ...
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Is [fun-stuff] on topic?

I just approved two edits removing the tag fun-stuff from the two only posts that currently have it: What are the limitations of performing music in space? How much force is in a keystroke? (...
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Paper tearing and other practical questions: off topic or not?

Optimal technique to tear perforated paper along the perforation Here we have a question which is considered to be off topic by some members of the community, but on topic by others (as evidenced by ...
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Are questions related to science fiction acceptable?

I want to ask a question about a phenomenon from a science fiction movie I saw recently. I looked for existing questions related to science fiction and found a wide range of feedback. For example, ...
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Should we allow ill-founded sensational questions [as found in newspapers]?

This has to do with this question https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/2079/is-superstring-theory-dead I raised my main concerns in the comments there. To summarize: the question as stated ...
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Are engineering questions OK?

What would be the real-world implications of the Kessler Syndrome? is essentially an engineering (applied physics) question. If we ignore the specifics of that question, should we accept applied ...
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1answer
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Are book/reference identification questions on topic?

While reading the general policy on resource recommendation, I was not able to answer if paper/book identification qualifies as an on-topic question. This is inspired by this Meta question that asks ...
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1answer
189 views

Question closed. Anything I can do to reopen it?

Not sure why this was closed: How do you show that the Lorentz metric is preserved for $\zeta^{3,1}?$ I think it was closed because I bit off more than I could chew so to speak and should have just ...
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1answer
91 views

Questions about statements in papers

I often read papers and am stuck on important statements/equations that are not satisfactorily explained to my understanding. Sometimes references are provided, but even then it's cumbersome to ...
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Are 'what would happen if' type questions appropriate for this site?

Mainly I'm thinking of the type of questions that pop up there every week: http://what-if.xkcd.com/ If not, which other SE site do you think it's appropriate for them?
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Specific homework questions - too localized to be of general interest?

Not yet another question on "level" but on "relevance" Should we allow specific homework questions like e.g. Homework about spinning top I lost a factor of two in the electromagnetic field tensor ...
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Questions regarding the proof of a physical identity

Is it really on topic to ask questions regarding an exact proof/how to approach the proof of a particular identity, or a physical equation?
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It is on-topic to ask about computer software useful to do some particular task?

I want to plot some phase diagrams that look professional (Example). I don't really know what tools are usually used to do this kind of diagrams, I've been looking around and found some alternative ...
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1answer
147 views

Why is this question about measurement off-topic?

The question Reliable length scales in nature has been received very poorly, for reasons I don't really understand. In the help center, it is stated that questions concerning "Experimental designs ...
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Astronomy / Physics discussion on topic distinction

We've had some sporadic discussions about how to determine the topic boundary between Astronomy.SE and Physics.SE and what kinds of questions should be transferred over to the astro site. They've also ...
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3answers
254 views

Are partial answers to homework questions allowed?

I gave a partial answer to a homework questions here (now deleted; screenshots: question, answer) and was firmly told in comments that even partial answers to homework questions are not allowed. Is ...
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3answers
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How to ask debunking questions

What is the proper format to ask debunking questions without being marked as off-topic, yet be able to step through the entire theory logically? Specifically, I am looking at Wallace Kluck's claim on ...
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2answers
195 views

Is PSE the place to ask for clarification on scientific talks?

I've been watching a talk about physics by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and I was left with some questions that were not addressed in the talk's Q&A session. Is it appropriate to ask those ...
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560 views

May I ask a question about philosophy of physics?

Is it permitted or not or frowned upon? I couldn't find a tag for it. But I hope you'd rather see discussions about "what is physics?" and "falsifiability" (and some of the stuff that Smolin ...
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Why can't I ask hypothetical questions?

Why can't I ask hypothetical questions about situations that can't happen in the first place, if I'm interested in the resulting phenomena and/or said situation will cause?
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Asking about anti-gravity: what is the problem?

A recent question on the site, Is there any anti-gravity material?, has been generating a lot of controversy as to whether it is appropriate or not. I'm personally a little torn on how a question like ...
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Are “What are some intersting Foo problems?” questions off-topic?

Two recent questions from one user What are some interesting calculus of variation problems? What are some interesting coupled harmonic oscillators problems? From my point of view these are "make a ...
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2answers
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Does the Area 51 proposal “High Energy Physics” overlap with this site?

Similar to my question Does the Area 51 proposal "Experimental or Applied Physics" duplicate this site? (which could still use a consensus—hint, hint …) There's an Area 51 proposal named ...
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402 views

Should We Allow Econophysics Questions?

My question on econophysics is closed for being 'off-topic'. But at this stage-- when there is no econophysics forum and the boundary of Physics SE is less defined and rigid-- it should not be closed. ...
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2answers
99 views

Can I ask here a simple calculation-like questions that I can't solve myself?

I have a simple (?) calculation like question that I can't solve myself due to not enough knowledge. Nearly like homework question, but hopefully not. Can I ask this kind of questions here? For the ...
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1answer
254 views

Engineering, what does Phys.SE deem as not Physics?

Right so I posted a question about something (not really important because the response is the important part). One of my responses (who I believe flagged the article) complained that it was not ...
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1answer
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Where should I post a question about logic circuit minimisation?

I have a question about some logic circuits (I have the Boolean functions and truth tables) that I would like to minimise. Where would I post a question about this? I was thinking Physics firstly but ...
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1answer
178 views

Fabrication Discussion - Is Physics the place for it?

While Fabrication (usually referring to MEMS/NEMS1 technology) is a fundamental part of physics, somehow I feel the physics stack isn't the place for it. The physics stack seems most suitable for ...
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3answers
235 views

Should we allow software questions?

I recently migrated away a Mathematica question. Now, our faq does not explicitly allow software questions so I assumed that it was off topic, and sent it away. BUT--it seems like this question may ...
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2answers
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Pedagogical questions about physics

Sparked by the discussion in the comments in the question How to teach modeling physical systems, especially if it is off-topic, I started looking for pedagogical questions about physics. I didn't ...
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90 views

Seismic image processing questions on Physics SE

Would I be allowed to post question relating to seismic image processing on Physics SE under the "Geophysics" tag?
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1answer
182 views

Questions about (barely) hypothetical scenarios: on topic or not?

The question Would Portal-style portals transmit gravity? was recently migrated from scifi.SE. Some people think it's off topic, some people don't, and I can kind of see both sides so I'm not quite ...
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150 views

Physics question wrongly put on hold as “engineering”

Can somebody please explain what this physics question (Is the strenght of the magnetic field the same across the surface of the magnet's pole?) has to do with engineering? Is physics not about ...
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1answer
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Questions concerning a career in research on or off topic?

I have a question about research careers, or rather PhD programmes but I'm not sure if it is on or off topic. From several threads here on meta I gathered that there is no general consensus on these ...
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120 views

Computational science in the FAQ

One area that I've noticed that is missing from our FAQ is an item about computational physics, and use of computers in doing physics research. So far we've been taking the view that general questions ...
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The on-topic page in the help center does not mention engineering

It recently came up in a meta post that OP had checked out the on-topic page in the help center, and could not see anything about engineering. That does seem to be the case, and although the tour ...
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Math and engineering questions: where do we draw the line?

I was reading through some old meta discussions recently, and I was interested in some of the points made, but they never quite seemed to be implemented or discussed further. They also seemed to be ...
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On possibily migrating astrophotography questions from Physics.SE to Photography.SE

I opened a question on this topic on meta.photography.se so that the proposed recipients can weight in.
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Are questions about general life on topic here?

Referring to this question in particular: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/8312/is-a-work-life-balance-incompatible-with-becoming-an-international-scientist According to experts, in ...
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1answer
77 views

Is new physics a bad fit for Stack Exchange?

My interest is in new physics, from the point of view of propulsion, and experiments that can confirm or disprove related new hypotheses. New physics attracts people who want to casually speculate and ...
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How to handle references to literature in predatory journals

Are questions or answers that cite, refer to or are based on work published in predatory journals (in the sense discussed here, here, or here) to be tolerated? If no, how do we check if a journal is ...

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