Hot answers tagged

58

I know the stated goal of the site is to provide a knowledge base, and I know that every time I rant on about the importance of teaching I get told that isn't the main purpose of the site. Nevertheless I think teaching is important, and doing worked examples is an important part of teaching. I'm not saying I want the site to fill up with posts asking how to ...


36

Summary History questions are welcome on this site whenever they have any bearing on our modern understanding of physics. However, if a question has only minimal or null bearing on our current understanding, or it specifically requires a historian's skills, toolset, and mindset to answer, then it should be migrated to the History of Science and Maths ...


29

ToughSTEM - A question answer community on a mission to share Solutions for all STEM major Problems. This is a site built specifically for answering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics -> Physics) problems in a Q/A format like the stack exchange network. We love check my work questions. It is and always will be 100% free. Supports ...


26

An example Suppose we want to ask how to find the electric field outside of a uniform sphere of charge Q and radius R. Consider these possible titles: Electrostatics question? Electric field from charge distribution Electric field outside of uniformly charged sphere Title #1 is bad. A person reading this title knows only that the question has to do with ...


25

See my answer here for the rationale behind this policy Note that this will require some community members to commit to curating the resource recommendations by flagging for post notice addition, flagging+commenting on bad answers, etc. This can't go through unless we get enough people who are willing to patrol for resource recommendation questions and ...


25

What research do I need to do before asking a question? Here's the general rule: Before asking a question, do anything else you can think of that might get you the answer. In particular, you should probably do all of the following before asking here: Think about the question. What do you already know that relates to it? Narrow it down to the specific ...


24

Is non-mainstream physics allowed here? No, questions and answers about non-mainstream physics are not allowed here. We are not a substitute for peer-review, and cannot evaluate new theories. While some questions can lead to legitimate new theories, the question will need to be specific in order to fit this format. What defines mainstream physics? Mainstream ...


23

Physics Problems Q&A aka Physics Q&A Exchange (currently out of order) This is a site specifically aimed at physics problems/exercises. It was started in November 2016 to provide a suitable place for questions on Physics Stack Exchange in the homework-and-exercises category which show some effort but are closed as off topic because they are not ...


20

Check my work question should always be off-topic. Those that can be rephrased should be rephrased. "Am I right?", "Is this correct?" or something else is always only of use to people who did the exact same derivation, and this is definitely too localized. To answer the bullet points in order: The level of the question should be utterly irrelevant. I have ...


19

Posting on meta If a post gets closed/migrated/deleted, write up a meta post for it. Link to the post in question Explain why the post is on topic for our site Explain why you disagree with the comments supporting the closing, if any Link to the meta post you just created in the comments on the post in question, if possible. If the ensuing discussion ...


18

Sure, people shouldn't just blurt out whatever question pops into their minds without thinking about it and making at least some attempt to find the answer. The real question is how much is enough? What is a reasonable level of research? How do we measure that or even decide how much research was actually done? Should the bar be lower for a more beginner ...


17

http://www.physicsforums.com


14

Bad: Your question looks like: "Here is my homework. Solve it instead of me, now". You scanned/photographed your textbook. You don't show effort or curiosity towards the solution. You don't bother to begin sentences with capital cases or end them with a ".". Good: You aren't asking for the numerical solution; you want to understand how you can solve it ...


14

What is community moderation, and why should I care? Community moderation is the "cleaning up" of the site by users like you! It involves flagging, closing, commenting, editing, and sometimes deleting posts. It also involves "implicit" moderation — not doing anything considered inappropriate for this site (e.g. getting involved in long ...


14

There are multiple reasons why it's better to link to abstract pages rather than directly to the PDF versions: Mobile users and users with slow internet connection prefer an abstract page over a PDF file. (Also, downloading PDFs can redirect to other applications instead of staying in-browser; this should be an explicit choice on the part of the reader.) ...


13

It should simply be considered on topic. Notation questions are useful and occasionally interesting, and I see no tangible benefit in not having them on the site. (Unless of course they have other problems, such as being too broad, unclear etc.)


13

Abbreviations and acronyms should be explained, especially if in the title. Avoid abbreviations in titles, such as, e.g., TDR, BGK, GTO, EFE, etc. Spell them out instead (as editors have later done in some of the above examples). Believe it or not, but the most important part of the Phys.SE community is actually not the questioners nor the answerers but ...


12

OK. I am an engineering physicist. And in my just-above-zero engineering experience, the application of physics is of paramount importance. That being said, asking questions like "how to build this device? "should be off topic. However, questions related to engineering where questions pertain to a physical concept that has to be used, should be welcomed. ...


12

http://www.quora.com/Physics


11

http://www.reddit.com/r/Physics


10

The aim of our site is to be an authoritative source of information for active researchers, academics and students of physics and astronomy, and we want the posts here to be interesting, informative and reliable. To this end we sometimes close questions that don’t fit with the goals of the site. This answer explains why we sometimes close questions as ...


9

Yes, we should allow some how-to-find-a-reference questions.


9

It depends on the question. As a rule of thumb, e.g., a question of the form What does this notation/terminology mean? is on-topic if it cannot immediately be answered by a simple Google search/Wikipedia lookup. a question of the form What is the standard notation for this quantity? or Why do we use this notation? is off-topic/not constructive/primarily ...


8

I'll offer up my other view on this since I am undecided in some respects. Checking of mathematical derivations only should always be off topic. We're not TA's here, we shouldn't need to hold office hours for people. Having said that, when people ask a question that really can be rephrased as "Did I include all of the relevant physics?" then I think it's ...


7

Problem Solving Strategies chatroom This requires a rep of at least 20 points. Typical questions come from college/university exam preparation (mainly JEE) and undergraduate level physics courses, and cover mathematics and physical chemistry as well as physics. Use of ChatJax is preferred.


7

"Check my work" type questions should remain off topic for two reasons: They do not ask for clarification of physics concepts, they ask for clarification on the mathematical solution to a particular problem In the "How do I as homework question" post, it states that Physics.StackExchange is not primarily a homework help site; it's a place to get ...


6

Edited the tag wiki to add This is also for requests for where to find a resource when it has been demonstrated that that pdf has been hard to find. Question reopened (unless anyone has any objections), since it follows this. I think we need to follow a few caveats: One per question. Don't dump your reading list and expect Physics.SE to gopher it for ...


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