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Additional Categories

I was just thinking about my earlier post, and I realised we haven’t yet discussed an important thing.

As discussed in the comments here, it may be a pretty important thing to have a section for things like requesting experimental data, proposing new ideas in Physics, discussing Cold Fusion and other non-mainstream Physics, etc.

So, maybe we should have categories for these, too?

So, here’s another poll.

Hm… how do you embed the poll here? The only option now is to click on the above link.



  1. Dilaton says:

    Thanks for this post 🙂

    It could be a good idea to have an additional non-mainstream “vixra-like” category (as a subcategory of Main or at the same level as Main and Meta?, darn will have to learn how to embed some PPT diagrams …) too.

    About Cold Fusion I have only seen what Lumo or Ron have written a bit, I dont know much about it myself … So I dont know if it should be included in the non-mainstream category (if we have one), or if corresponding questions and answers can flow normally with the usual posts in the Main category. And due to my lack of knowldedge I have no strong feelings about it, but some physicists with a better knowledge obviously do …

    Concerning experimental data requests, I think we do not need a new category for them, they can be posted in the category Experimental physics …

    The same goes for other requests, such as requests for study material, references, books, software needed to analyse experimental data, etc …

    I am strongly against the Stack Exchange notion that questions, that ask for a recommendation of something based on expert knowledge and experience (no, this is NOT the same as opinion …!), are dangerous, bad, infectious, or something like this. On the contrary, they are useful for people seriously interested in doing or learning physics and they need no special treatment … ;-P

    • Hm, oops, I was playing around with the poll management and I accidentally reset all results!

      Could you vote again ?, sorry.

      About Cold Fusion, I don’t know anything about it either, but I really don’t think one should care whether it’s non-mainstream, wrong, or absolutely right. At least from what I have *observed* (not *learnt*), it doesn’t seem to be crap, at least.

      My idea for having a separate books/software-recommendation category is not a special treatment, I totally agree with you on that. But isn’t it better to have book/software recommendations in the same place. If you are looking for good books on a certain topic, wouldn’t you want a single category where you can neatly browse for what you want? The same is with software recommendations. Maybe we should also have meta-tags (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Let SE go to hell! : ) . . . ) for the prices of the softwares too, for practical reasons. E.g. if you are looking for a software to build Feynman Diagrams for personal use, you don’t want to see answers suggesting you to buy Mathematica : )

      I those the same goes for exp. data requests. But those could be differentiated by a tag, too… So I suppose you’ are right.

      • Also, at least as far as I have observwed, it doesn’t really seem to have been settled that Cold Fusion is mainstream or non-mainstream, so I think we should simply have a separate category for it.

        After all, when we VTC questions on PhysSEs, as non-mainstream, we are just using an excuse for closing an obnoxiously crackpot question whose author;’s head should be sliced opean : ) That’s why I said “Leave Open” to Doug Sweetser’s questions, after all. They are not mainstream, but not crackpot, eiother.

        So, non-mainstreamness is fine, crackpottery should just be stamped out.

      • Dilaton says:

        Yes, I think we can categorize them by appropriate and much more reasonably defined than on Physics SE (!) tags, such as:

        Books: for questions that are really looking for a (text) book about a well defined topic

        Reference-request: for questions that are looking for references in the sense of what researchers and students mean by this term (and not the strange much to restricted Physics SE definition) such a research-papers, Review articles, (Arxiv) lecture notes, etc …

        Software: for questions that are looking for an appropriate program to do a well defined task

        Data-request: for questions that are looking for specific data


        Such tags can the be used in all of the Theoretical Physics / Experimental Physics/ etc categories as needed.

        • No I meant a category for Book Requests, another for Software Recommendations, and another for Experimental Data Requests.

          ”’All”’ Categories are prominently displayed in the right rail of the Q2A maiinpage by default but only the top tags are. So having them in categories would allow easier navigation for these.

          NM Physics would basically be the theoretical counter – part of Experimental Data Requests.

          Ref-Req like asking for references to refer from for a certain definition or claim could be separated by a tag from the books questions with the same category “Books and References Requests”.

  2. Dilaton says:

    Concerning embedding polls, you have a button “add poll” above the editor (I use the visual one). From this u can create (and also change) old polls and embed them into the post. This is what I did …

  3. Dilaton says:

    I think we can add another section for refereeing papers, beside the MAIN and Meta (which can then be subdivided into broader subjects such as HEP-th and all the arxiv tags), as Ron nicely suggested here:

  4. Dilaton says:

    Related Quora question about non-mainstream physics

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