27 votes
Accepted

Experimental Physics & Engineering

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 ...
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25 votes

Is over-vigilant monitoring of questions driving people away from the site?

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 ...
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21 votes
Accepted

How can "torus shape" planet be "non-mainstream" physics?

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,...
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16 votes

Why is Phys.SE so restrictive in the Q&A it is willing to accept?

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 ...
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16 votes

Why was my question closed for not being focused when it actually was?

I could be wrong, but it could be the case that users saw a really long post broken up into multiple parts and thought "this isn't focused". You do only ask one question, so I don't think ...
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  • 53.8k
15 votes

Can we stop closing questions as "unclear what you are asking" for OPs above certain reputation?

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 ...
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  • 24.7k
15 votes

Care over closing "duplicate" questions

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 ...
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  • 10.1k
14 votes

Closing a 10-year old answered question as off-topic

Closing questions is not an expression of disdain. It's merely saying that a question like this is not suitable for the site as it is today, in this instance because it is not inside the scope of ...
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  • 108k
14 votes

Careless mistakes in formulas shouldn't be treated the same as non-mainstream physics

I did not vote to close but I do not see a relation between the two comments pointing at the maths mistake and the closing vote. That is, I don't think the typo is what led them to close the question ...
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  • 23k
13 votes
Accepted

How do I ask a question about the state of current research without falling in the "primarily opinion-based" category"?

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 ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Reserving the use of the 'non-mainstream' close reason

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-...
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  • 172k
12 votes

Is over-vigilant monitoring of questions driving people away from the site?

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, ...
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  • 74k
12 votes

Why was my question closed as too broad?

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 ...
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11 votes

Why was this question considered "big list?"

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 ...
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  • 172k
11 votes

Should we re-word the homework-like close reason to better match how we actually deal with homework-like questions?

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 ...
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11 votes

Why is the 'Physics' Stack Exchange site closing some interesting questions?

Well... to put it delicately, these are not anywhere near the mainstream. To put it less delicately, these are nutty questions. This site is not the place to entertain this kind of unfounded ...
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  • 39.5k
11 votes

Closing a 10-year old answered question as off-topic

Since my motives are being questioned, let me add this. I voted to close this question because I didn't think it was about physics as defined in the scope of this site. That's all. I don't see that ...
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  • 113k
10 votes

Why were well-known, valid solutions of the GR "off-topic" or "non-mainstream"? (suggestion)

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, ...
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10 votes

Is over-vigilant monitoring of questions driving people away from the site?

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 ...
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  • 24.7k
10 votes

Is "check-my-work" defined to be off-topic in the site's help? (Should it be?)

Yes, it should be. The site's Help pages do a lot to define the scope of what can and cannot be asked here. New users who take the trouble to go to the on-topic help should expect a reasonably-...
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10 votes

Fixing the closed-question notices following changes to the software

Let's kick things off with the most important one - the homework close reason, which currently reads Homework-like questions and check-my-work questions are considered off-topic here, particularly ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Why was this question on fiber switches closed?

I agree with you: while most questions about engineering are off-topic for us, we make an exception for engineering-like questions about experimental apparatus. I've retagged and reopened the ...
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  • 74.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Why was this question down voted and closed as non-mainstream?

It's all about phrasing: "How are accelerated frames treated in special relativity?" is a perfectly fine question. "Special relativity cannot work with accelerated frames! Prove me (or &...
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  • 108k
10 votes

Why was this vector calculus question closed?

That question is a poor fit to the site and not specific enough to answer. At the time of writing, the question is: I would like to know if this type of term is encountered anywhere in physics and ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Why was this question closed as "non-mainstream" when it asked about mainstream physics?

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 ...
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  • 172k
9 votes

Reserving the use of the 'non-mainstream' close reason

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 ...
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  • 74k
9 votes

Why was this question put on hold? Reason given was that it is a homework question

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 ...
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  • 16k
9 votes
Accepted

Which guidelines does this question violate?

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 ...
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  • 14.8k

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