39

Thank you, Rob, it has been a nice trip these ten years. I was forced to retire from research in 2000, because of civil service rules, and did not want to stay on (with various grants) because money for research in Greece was, and still is, not enough for high energy experiments. That require a number of trips to CERN and meetings to keep effective in the ...


20

Suppose the question had asked “How do I find the approximate volume of an asteroid ?”. I doubt there would be any serious arguments for closing that question. If we are happy to accept a volume/asteroid question then why should we reject a surface area/chicken question ? Estimating volume is on-topic for PSE but estimating surface area isn’t ?? But that ...


20

My take on it: No, this question is nowhere near on-topic. It is simply not about physics. I agree it's a fun question, and that this can make it attractive to some people. But we don't set the site scope depending on whether questions are fun or not $-$ the site scope is physics, and questions are judged against that standard. And the fact of the matter is, ...


18

Personally, I think that if a statement answer the question, even if it's just a few words long, it should be posted as an answer and not as a comment Yes, that is correct. Should the commentator have written the comment as an answer instead? Yes, they should have. Should I delete my answer because the comment was posted first? No, you shouldn't. One ...


14

Please use edits to substantially improve the posts they are attached to. Please do not use trivial edits as backdoors to enable site features that are inaccessible to you for some reason.


10

Disclaimer: I did not give closing or reopening votes for the surface area of the chicken question. I have to say that this is one of the few times I completely disagree with Emilio Pisanty's opinion, usually so wise and equilibrate. Let's forget the funny context the question has been asked. The real problem is how to estimate the surface area of the ...


10

The issue I take with the question is its nonsensical context ("building a chicken army to conquer the world"). If the question were just about "How do I measure the surface area of an irregular object, e.g. a chicken", it would be fine. However, editing the question this way would make a lot of the answers look odd, since they are ...


9

The distinction between having social features (like a profile page and chat) and being a social network is also discussed in this mother meta question and in particular this answer. Jeff Atwood explains the importance of having not only a main site and a meta but also a chat in the blog post introducing chat thus: Because you not only need a place to have ...


9

Comments aren't a good medium for back-and-forth; that's that chat is for. There's a Chat FAQ which is useful to re-read once a year or so. The privileges of talking in chat and creating chat rooms come pretty early in the privilege hierarchy. If you leave a comment with the text Let us continue this discussion in [chat] then the special comment markdown ...


8

Name-calling or other abusive behaviour is not something we want to see on our site. Users are expected to be reasonably nice even to people they disagree with or find annoying. If you see abuse (directed at you or others), please use the flagging system to alert the moderators of it. It is not something any user should feel required to tolerate. Please also ...


8

Yes, the question is on-topic. Measuring the surface area of an object is either on-topic or it is not. It is absurd to suggest that measuring the surface area of a rock is on-topic, but measuring the surface area of a chicken is not. And it seems to be very well-established that the current duplicate target, How do I experimentally measure the surface area ...


7

Here is my opinion on this. Personally, I think that it is not a problem to start with some fun context. It can spark interest in the reader and encourage them to read the complete post or answer it. However, I think that the "fun context" should be clearly separated from the actual question (which should of course be about physics) and should not ...


7

Back in the day we used to close this type of questions with a custom close reason: I am voting to close this question as off-topic because it shows insufficient prior research. with a link to this meta post. I just checked the stats and it seems we haven't been using this anymore, I wonder what happened. But anyway, that is always a valid close reason (if ...


7

I don't entirely follow what you're concerned about here with respect to downvotes, but everyone can see on your profile when you last took an action on the site (subject to caching, this time is only accurate to within a few minutes): Beyond that there is nothing other users could see of your activity - unless of course you do something visible like write ...


6

This is based on V1 of the post. The largest issue might be Question being open-ended This is a Q&A site, with the goal being the each question has a well-defined answer that can be accepted. An open-ended question means that there could be multiple "good" or "not incorrect" answers without there ever being a unique, correct answer. ...


6

Welcome to Physics! In its current form (v4) it’s unclear to me what your post is asking about. One symptom: it does not appear to contain a question that ends in a question mark. Your self-answer suggests that you have solved the problem you were having by locating a factor of two. That’s typical of check-my-work questions, which our community has decided ...


5

In my own experience, I VTC as opinion based if the question is asking something subjective, or has some element that users could disagree on and there is no correct position. I can somewhat see it for this question in its current form, although it might be a little harsh. I'll still go through what might have happened. In this this particular example, we ...


5

At a top level independent of the questions you linked to here, it's important to remember that applying site policies is done by humans, and humans aren't perfect at implementing things -- so there are always going to be examples where something is closed that maybe shouldn't be, or something didn't get closed that should be, and so on. It also tends to ...


5

The question is imprecise in many respects. Is one looking for an average area or for the area of individual chickens? In my world there’s no chicken army so what other assumptions on the chicken should be made? How accurate need to be the estimate? Would a typical spherical chicken work (seems like it to me!) or does one need to use an spheroid or ...


5

Yes I tend to agree with @GiorgioP that the question is technically about physics. My own answer has involved physics on two levels: Archimedes method for measuring volume Scaling approach to relating volume and surface Both clearly make a part of physics. No Having said that, I however concede that the question is low-level and is rather about engineering....


5

In general, there is no threshold for how much editing a question can go through - as long as it is unanswered. But when a question has already received answers, and in particular these answers have been voted upon, editing becomes a bit more difficult - we discourage edits that change the question in ways that invalidate existing answers. Once answerers ...


4

Why is an answer sometimes given in the comments? I personally find myself sometimes commenting because I feel like my answer is incomplete or only partially correct. Though I agree with the other answers here that comments should not be used for answering and only to ask for clarification, providing relevant links etc and I try to avoid posting answer-like ...


4

Comments should only be used to ask for clarifying questions from the OP or to suggest improvements to the question. Comments referring to further/related information are usually fine also. Comments should not be used to answer questions, give hints, side remarks, etc. This is a Q&A site, so having posts loaded with comments doesn't make the finding ...


4

As long as the fun context contains a genuine and interesting question about Physics, I do not see any reason for considering off-topics. Of course, people should not abuse this style and one has to consider that what may sound funny, in some cases, could be considered offensive for someone else. However, I am more concerned by the proposal to close such ...


4

I tried it for a few minutes in Safari on iPad and in Edge on PC and it seemed to work well. In addition to trying hand-editing, I pasted in a few reasonably complicated equations from my existing answers and they rendered properly. I miss being able to preview while I type, but if I had to use this editor I would not leave PSE. It’s nice to have \ket, etc.


4

Something being useful in general does not mean it belongs here. CPR training is a very good thing to provide, if you are qualified to. But I think we can all agree this is not something that we should be doing here. Good-quality derivations of canonical HS problems is a good thing in general. But this does not automatically mean we should be doing it here. ...


3

At the time this question was asked, the editor was completely unusable on the four different platforms I tried. A day later, the specific issues I describe seem to have been resolved, which suggests the developer is responsive to issues. However it also suggests that this tool needs a much larger test community than it currently has. Enabling this editor ...


3

"Fun" is subjective. As long as the question follows the site policies then it should stay on the site. If it doesn't follow site policy it should be closed. It doesn't matter what else you think about the question. Therefore "fun" questions can be either on-topic or off-topic. Note that "being about physics" is not a sufficient ...


3

This was mentioned in Emilio's answer, but I wanted to draw attention to it. Especially because the relevance to physics here is a red herring IMO. The reason I voted to close this question was because there is no definitive answer that can be accepted as the right answer (the OP could actually accept an answer, but that's not the point I'm making here). To ...


3

Consolidating some ideas expressed in the comments here... This is a Q&A site. We want questions that have a single, definitive answer that will not change in time rather than open-ended questions that might need to be updated in the future. "What are the current research problems in ..." is too broad of a question; there could be many answers ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible