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  How much discussion is appreciated on PhysicsOverflow?

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

The members of PhysicsOverflow, who are familiar with  some other physics Q&A sites know, that anything that could potentially lead to (even on-topic physics) discussions is generally stopped right from the start there, to maintain a very rigid (or "clean" for external viewers) question and answer format.

When looking at MathOverflow, this community does not mind good on-topic discussions at all,  which seems to be more in agreement with the needs of a free academic high-level community.

In addition, as pointed out by Arnold Neuaimer, a non-rigid question and answer format could help in particular professional physicists by allowing them to just place for example  some content related to their research into the question, and ask others about their comments and possible contributions or solutions.

How do people here on PhysicsOverflow think about this?

asked May 24, 2014 in Discussion by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ revision history ]
edited May 24, 2014 by Dilaton

1 Answer

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

There should be no limit on the amount of discussion on PhysicsOverflow, as long as the discussion is primarily about Physics, and not about conspiring about a physicist's integrity, or something as pointless as that.  

I see no issue in a question like "What are some reasons to believe that Loop Quantum Gravity is incorrect?" or "What are some ways to falsify String Theory?". Such a discussion should by all means, be on-topic because it gives rise to useful content.   

But the discussion can't go on until the topic is not physics any longer. For example, I am against a question that asks "Was Einstein a fraud?" because the discussion is no longer primarily about physics.

If one of the users in the discussion makes a remark about something off-topic, then the discussion is not to be harmed. For example, in a discussion like "What are some ways to falsify String Theory?", if a user makes a comment like "M-theory was a plot by the martians to enslave the world!" (I can't remember where, but I'm sure I've seen this before on some forum), then the comment can be deleted, but the discussion that is on-topic to the question about falsifying string theory can go on, because it is primarily about Physics.

answered May 24, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]

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