Crowd-Source Your Physics Questions

There’s a new physics Q&A site from the folks at Stack Exchange, this one on physics. If you’re not familiar with the format, it’s a bulletin-board style site where you can post questions to be answered by other users, and people vote the answers up and down, so you can get a decent feel for which answers are good, and which are less useful.

There’s a pretty wide range of questions, covering everything from really basic concepts to fairly technical questions about current research. My own feeling about this is that if you’re going to have it on the public web, you ought to expect and be willing to answer really basic stuff. So I’ve been answering some fairly general questions over there, trying to keep to the general policy I have here, namely minimal use of equations and technical minutiae. We’ll see how well I do with that. I’ll also probably copy the occasional question over here, because if I’m going to do all that typing, I might as well get some traffic for the site while I’m at it…

Anyway, if you have any burning questions that you’d really like to have answered, try it out. There are several hundred users at the moment, and odds are pretty good that somebody will be able and willing to give you an answer.

3 thoughts on “Crowd-Source Your Physics Questions

  1. I participated in similar forums for many years. I got a little tired when I felt someone wanted me to do their homework for them. I had some excellent long-term online relationships with students who wished to extend their learning. You may just nudge me back into that habit.

  2. @joemac: I think the overflow system works much better. Inappropriate (e.g., homewok) qustions get closed very fast.

  3. I think it would be nice if this could turn into something akin to Mathoverflow, but it seems unlikely to happen.

    In the math community, you have *very* prominent mathematicians (i.e., people who were very famous as mathematicians before they started blogging) not only blogging about math, but blogging about very technical math – i.e., blogging specifically aimed at other mathematicians. And this was going on *before* mathoverflow was created.

    There’s simply nothing like this in the physics blogging world, and if you look at the questions being asked on PhysicsExchange, it’s clearly not going to turn into a mathoverflow equivalent. Why is the situation so different for math and physics?

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