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104
votes
3answers
31k views

How do I ask homework questions on Physics Stack Exchange?

What is the policy on asking homework questions on Physics Stack Exchange? What kinds of questions are considered homework questions? Are homework questions allowed? What should I include in a ...
28
votes
2answers
5k views

Is non-mainstream physics appropriate for this site?

Is non-mainstream physics allowed here? What defines non-mainstream physics? What sort of questions and answers are disallowed by this policy? What should I do if I see a question or answer containing ...
33
votes
1answer
4k views

Are resource recommendations allowed?

What is the policy on asking for recommendations of books or resources on Physics Stack Exchange? What is a resource recommendation question? What sort of resource recommendation questions are ...
21
votes
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 ...
42
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 ...
25
votes
12answers
2k views

Bite-sizing homework

Well, meta posts about "homework" keep on coming, but we still don't seem to have a solution that sticks, so I'll give it another shot. For what it's worth I think the current system isn't so bad that ...
43
votes
15answers
4k views

My question was closed on Phys.SE. Can you recommend me another internet site where my question might be on-topic?

My question was closed1 on Phys.SE. Can you recommend me another internet site where my question might be on-topic? Here we keep a list of other internet sites that might help students2 of physics. ...
19
votes
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 ...
17
votes
0answers
555 views

FAQ for Physics Stack Exchange

Frequently Asked Questions This thread is an index of Frequently Asked Questions, and other resources, for Physics Stack Exchange. General questions about Stack Exchange For general questions about ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a standard place to point people to learn how to typeset their equations?

I've seen a number of questions in which the moderators change html equations into LaTeX, or else people writing in the comments that the site supports LaTeX. Do we have a standard place where we can ...
70
votes
11answers
3k views

We seem to be over-eager to downvote

Take this question: Dark matter clumping This is an excellent question and the answer is not at all obvious. I assume it was downvoted just because it's a duplicate, but is this really appropriate? ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Good list, bad list

The Stack Exchange model does not work well for "big list" questions, and these are banned network-wide for good reason. However, many of the other stack exchange sites allow or even encourage list ...
33
votes
11answers
2k views

Why don't we just ban homework altogether?

This site gets a lot of low-quality homework questions. Since I ignored the homework tag a few months ago, my experience of the site has been much more pleasant. The current homework policy is nice, ...
16
votes
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 ...
30
votes
4answers
651 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 ...
45
votes
5answers
5k views

What is Physics Overflow and how is it linked to Physics.SE?

A community ad caught my eye, and I visited http://www.physicsoverflow.org. What are the links between Physics SE and Physics Overflow and how are they different from each other?
19
votes
7answers
918 views

Tag synonyms for voting

Post here tag synonym proposals for voting. For example: what tags should by synonyms of "quantum-mechanics"? See also this meta post. This post can also be used to suggest minor changes to a tag, ...
32
votes
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): ...
21
votes
1answer
422 views

The site toolbar looks broken in Chrome. How can I fix it?

Since earlier this month, the main toolbar of the site (with links to Questions, Tags, Users, Badges, Unanswered and Ask Question) has changed, distinctly for the worse: The font looks blocky and ...
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
1answer
4k views

How do we write good question titles?

Writing a good title can require some thought. A title, while short, must help other users get an idea of what your question will ask so they can decide whether or not to click and read the entire ...
24
votes
7answers
727 views

Banning homework: vote and documentation

It was proposed recently on meta that, as part of a broader programme of increasing the site quality, we ban homework questions altogether. This proposal seems to have really quite strong support. On ...
7
votes
1answer
237 views

Which flag do I use for an inappropriate post?

Other than off topic flags, there are several different types of flags that one can cast on a question, answer, or comment. What are each of these flags for? Question and answer flags: spam ...
9
votes
3answers
496 views

Tag burninate & blacklist requests for voting

As suggested by Natheniel in Redundant tags I, I'll make a single question and let people vote on the answers (containing redundant tags to burninate.).
35
votes
9answers
2k views

Have we lost the necessary critical mass of professional physicists?

A while back, we had this discussion in which we tried to measure quantitatively whether the site was gaining or losing non-novice users. Since then, I've had the distinct subjective impression that ...
35
votes
0answers
2k views

Physics Stack Exchange “Ask me anything” (AMA)

Purpose The user base of Physics Stack Exchange is rather diverse in terms of cultural background, career progress, field of expertise, and personality. While the discussion in hbar is lively, it is ...
17
votes
26answers
3k views

Community Promotion Ads - 2015 [duplicate]

The dawn of a new year, 2015, now approaches, or has already approached, either way it means that it is now time to reset our Community Promotion Ads! What are Community Promotion Ads? Community ...
13
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Consider supporting proposals of other SE science sites

Science proposals need your help! Consider committing to these, to make them successful & scientific: See also the long list of science and technology proposals on Area 51. Committers needed ...
25
votes
1answer
955 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
699 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 ...
9
votes
21answers
951 views

Best-of PSE 2016: description, categories, and results

As suggested in another meta post, let's do a Physics Stack Exchange "best of 2016". There's a nice precedent for this in the Puzzles and Code Golf site. Objective Reward and draw attention to some ...
10
votes
5answers
793 views

Getting rid of the popular science tag

Related: What is the purpose of the popular-science tag?, Can we encourage the "research-level" meta tag? What about a "popular" tag? We currently have a tag called popular-...
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
610 views

Capturing theoretical-physics crowd with Research Level Tag

Well, theoretical physics has failed (the site, not the discipline). We should make some effort to recapture whatever interest and audience it had. The easiest way to do that would be to introduce a "...
19
votes
8answers
867 views

Closing “Insufficient Effort” questions

Some time ago, John Rennie asked, ...in many cases it looks as if the OP simply can't be bothered to put any effort in. Do we have a policy for closing (or not closing) such questions? The Meta ...
17
votes
9answers
905 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. ...
35
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
315 views

what is the Favicon supposed to be?

What is the favicon of the site supposed to represent? My initial impressions are that it looks like a partially unrolled condom. I'm not trying to be a troll, but I just don't see it making a good ...
19
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
249 views

Is there anyway we can require a person to write something to explain a downvote?

It's pretty obvious when someone upvotes your question or answer they like it and the physics is reasonable or correct - but when someone downvotes its often ambiguous if they have a legitimate ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
419 views

Correcting incorrect answers

I have a strong aversion to having edits applied to my work without my approval. Because of that, I don't do that to what others have written. So what should be done with obviously wrong answers? I ...
18
votes
1answer
750 views

How do you cite yourself?

In this answer I cited some work I did a while ago. To what extent should we allow self-linking? I have noticed in some cases there is self-linking that is only tangentially related to the ...
15
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
304 views

Should downvoters have to comment on why they did it?

Inspired by the fact I got downvoted for this answer and cannot tell exactly why given the question was pretty vague and I don't think the OP was the one doing it either. I am starting to think that ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

What is engineering and what is experimental design?

So we have a close reason for engineering questions because selection of materials for building that ultralight in the garage are off-topic. But where is the line drawn between engineering and ...
1
vote
2answers
303 views

What is the line between fiction and physics with respect to off-topic?

There is a question I believe to be well on topic, relevant, and interesting. It is asking to consider a fictional scenario and evaluate, as given in the fictional scenario, whether it is possible to ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

How did mathematics end up with two Stack Exchange sites, while Physics only got one?

I'm prompted to start this thread by a comment on a recent question about why this site has the homework policy that it does. As I said in that answer, the ecological niche that this site occupies is ...
10
votes
2answers
879 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 ...

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