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As this projects tries to some kind of restart the (generalized) theoretical physics proposal outside the Stack Exchange network, conversely to Astronomy which has just made it to private beta again (congratulations!), we have no well-defined place to ask example questions.
May idea of a work around is to do it here in the comments below this short post. When asking one example question per comment, they can be voted on (up and down), and as comments to comments are possible, each question can be discussed a bit too if needed.
So let’s go 😉 !
From sifting again through the comment thread in the TRF discussion about the new site, the question of the physics level the future site should have seems not yet completely clarified apart from the consensus that popular science questions and high-school questions are not appropriate. So let’s do another poll:
Another point worth discussing could be if the site should be exclusively for students and researchers with some kind of academic (physics) affiliation, or if serious and knowledgeable enough physics enthusiasts will be welcome too? For example Mitchell Porter claims to read string theory papers just for fun, and I don’t know anything about his educational background. But he writes extremely nice and often very high level answers, and his questions are very interesting too, so I think such people should be highly welcome on the new physics site anyway. I personally think everybody who is seriously interested in the topics of the site and able to contribute at an appropriate level should be fine on the new site, independent from his proven background concerning education, etc … But this may be just me, so lets discuss this and other things related to the level of the site here.
There has already been a fair amount of discussion on TRF about what topics should be allowed and welcome on the future physics site, so the purpose of this post is to streamline what has already been said and ensure, that we are all on the same frequency. I got the impression that even though we will use the Theoretical Physics SE questions (and maybe some good ones from Physics SE) as a basis of questions to start with, allowing exclusively research-level theoretical Physics questions could be a bit too narrow, even though outside the SE network we will not have to fulfill any stringent activity / traffic / etc criteria …
Many people said that it would be nice to allow for experimental physics, phenomenology, condensed matter for example belongs to theoretical physics anyway, too at an appropriate level. The level of the site will be discussed on another related post shortly. So to be sure that we agree what we want (and to test if I am able to embed a poll in a post 😛 …), here is another poll about the ON TOPICS of the future physics site:
On Physics SE I noted, that people seriously interested in learning physics at a technical level liked to ask some rather mathematical questions they needed answers for too, so I added mathematics to the list too. As I know that the relationship between very advanced theoretical physics and mathematics is very close anyway, I am not against having some mathematical questions too.
In the course of the TRF discussion it had also been said, that the new physics site should not be about engineering, applied physics, and I guess everybody agrees that we don’t want to invite crackpots who try to sell us their personal non-mainstream theories. So here is another poll to assess what we think should be OFF TOPIC on the future site:
An aside concerning “off topics” for people who know Physics SE … ;-): I hope and assume (?) we do not want to declare reasonable (as defined by the majority of the community) study material / reference request questions (called recommendations on Physics SE), or questions that rightly so can have multiple good and interesting answers (termed list questions on Physics SE) as off topic …
When voting, you can choose multiple answers to the polls at the same time, if I have done it right … 😉