# Tag Info

25

I have a lot of sympathy with your position and I will generally put some effort into trying to interpret questions that are awkwardly phrased. However I think it's reasonable to expect someone asking a question to put as much effort into researching and writing it as they expect us to put in to answering it. As much can be learned from posting a carefully ...

24

What objectively separates engineering questions from experimental physics ones? Nothing. I will argue that trying to formulate such a distinction is not the correct way to attack the problem of deciding what questions should and shouldn't be considered on-topic for this site. A better approach is to ask whether or not physics or engineering flavor is more ...

20

Demanding that questions only deal with situations that unequivocally can occur in the real world rules out objects on infinite planes, point masses, Einsteinian trains, Maxwell's demon, supersymmetry, superstring theory, and any of the other standard thought experiments that form the underpinnings of a standard physics education. The ability of applying ...

16

For the same reason we weren't a homework help site before Physics Overflow was a thing: because we don't want to be that kind of site. The user base of this site have debated the places that introductory exercises have in this site repeatedly since anna v's question that you link and the current policy is the outcome of those debates. Some of the more ...

15

There is nothing about rep that magically makes some whose first language isn't English suddenly become a master at the language. Nor is there some way rep prevents someone from asking a meaningless question. So, to the titular question, No, there should not be a rep threshold for unclear question. What should be done in cases of unclear questions, ...

15

People should be encouraged to close questions as duplicates, but they should certainly take care to choose an appropriate duplicate target. Even if the target does have answers that correctly answer the new question, it may not be a useful target for the OP of the new question if it uses mathematics and concepts that are too advanced. Also, if the old ...

13

I feel your question was unnecessarily closed (and I've voted to reopen) but right now we are struggling to maintain the quality of the site under an onslaught of ill thought out, poorly phrased or even utterly barking questions. With too few reviewers chasing too many bad questions mistakes get made. One of the standard types of question we get is: Why ...

13

General comments: When it comes to non-mainstream topics, such as, e.g., faster-than-light travel, tachyons, time travel, warp-drive, wormholes, antigravity, multiverses, parallel universes, pre-big-bang, etc, the question should be of high quality, well-defined, well-researched, well-documented, and preferably referring to a specific theory, before Phys.SE ...

12

The top two close reasons ( real reasons, not the system reasons) that don't fit in unclear/broad/primarily-opinion-based (Great, now I have to remember new acronyms :S ) are: Homeworky (frequency: a bajillion times a day): Our policy expects homework and homework-like problems to have some effort put into them, and deal with conceptual issues. Please ...

12

But, surely there should be a way for answers to be allowed for questions that get closed? Oh goodness no. That defeats the entire point of putting questions on hold (a.k.a. closing). Actually, there is a way, of sorts: edit the question to make it good, and then it gets taken off hold (reopened). That's exactly what we want to happen, in most cases. Or ...

12

You are asking us to do a literature review on the subject of carbon dioxide and global warming. A student starting a PhD on the subject would spend weeks doing a review like this. Your question was closed as too broad because, well, it's too broad.

11

The following three points combine to contradict your thesis: The number of questions asked per week has been steadily increasing for the entire duration of PSE's existence. The number of users joining this site has grown rapidly the last year, but increasing always as well The number of questions closed per week has remained fairly steady over the last ...

11

A question of the form What is the biggest X? presumably means that an answerer should only answer if they are 100% sure that they know the unique answer (which btw may change in the future), and all other answers should be deleted. Of course that's not going to happen, so such questions in practice degenerate into What are examples of big Xs? For the latter,...

11

Here's my go: Homework-like questions and check-my-work questions are considered off-topic here, particularly when they are about specific computations instead of asking about the conceptual frameworks that underlie the calculations. Homework questions can be on-topic when they are useful to a broader audience, but please read the links above carefully ...

10

I want to point out one aspect of the question closure procedure which is relevant here but is not apparent to <3k users (and even then takes a while to realize). When voting to close a question, one gets to choose between the multiple options, but after you have five close votes the question gets closed regardless of what the mix of options is. (That is, ...

10

Based on some of the comments (now deleted), it looks like the first user who voted to close did so because they were focusing on how the OP was trying to apply scaling space to Newton's second law. Perhaps the first user figured that the OP was talking about their own theory of scaling space then? Although in my (speculative) opinion, this user seemed upset ...

9

It seems that OP's question (v3) is a valid mainstream conceptional question concerning the thermodynamical arrow of time in the same category as, say, inquiries about the Boltzmann H-theorem and Loschmidt's paradox. The question should therefore be reopened. As to why OP's question was closed as non-mainstream: Well, it seems it was a mistake. I want to ...

9

We do have a procedure in place where users of the site can vote to reopen closed questions, and I see that your question currently has one reopen vote. The best way for you to speed this process along is for you to edit your question with some text like "it's been suggested that this question is a duplicate of [link]. But that's a question about X, while I'...

9

I think you may be right. I'm not sure the scope of the close reason is meant to be quite as narrow as (it sounds like) you're proposing here, but it is good to be careful not to overuse it. We have an FAQ post describing the use of the non-mainstream close reason. And for further context, I went back and dug up the original proposal of this close reason as ...

9

This is a question that would help with the understanding of specific heat and conductivity and which has a greater effect when it comes to transfer of energy between objects. If the question is about that, then it should be clear that this is what it's about. In other words, the question could be something like: "How do the thermal conductivity and ...

9

The close votes are all for the "Non-mainstream physics" close reason, but that's actually a bit misleading here. The reason says: We deal with mainstream physics here. Questions about the general correctness of unpublished personal theories are off topic, although specific questions evaluating new theories in the context of established science ...

9

Even though you have eliminated an explicit reference to opinion, this does not change the fact that IMO the question is still opinion-based. I can answer yes/no/I think so/I don’t think so without reference to any physical law or principle, and my answer would be just as good as anybody else’s.

8

I'll give you two answers, one to the question you actually asked and one to the question that I think you actually wanted to ask. What you asked: what counts as effort? Working through a homework problem is like exploring the branches of a tree, or walking through a maze. You start at the problem statement - the ground, or the entrance - and you try ...

8

Not sure if this will be a coherent answer, but let me comment on some points here: [...] it should help the site remain an open forum, where reasonable questions about physics can be asked Stack Exchange sites are not a forum. The intent is not to facilitate discussion. The intent is to provide a place where specific questions with clear answers can be ...

8

You're asking for a list of theories, which is a question without the potential of having a "correct" answer and is usually seen as too broad around here. See e.g. Good list, bad list and its linked questions for prior meta discussion of questions asking for lists

8

I do agree that it's not really a duplicate; but it should remain closed. For one thing, it's hard to understand the question behind the huge rant. Your rant seems to entirely focus on how unclear some people are when they discuss the "number of atoms in the universe". From what I've understood, you seem to have an issue with how some people choose to ...

8

I have a degree of sympathy for your position, and had I seen the question before it was closed I would have posted an answer. But my answer would be that you have misunderstood what we mean by the term photon. Have a look at my answer to Do photons truly exist in a physical sense or are they just a useful concept like $i = \sqrt{-1}$? Photons are only a ...

7

Despite my comment I didn't vote to reopen the question you mention. This is because after an initial burst of enthusiasm I took a closer look at the question and decided it didn't make sense. I suspect there is a language difficulty and result is that as it stands the question can't be answered. I did consider editing the question to make it clearer, but ...

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