# Is "quantum mechanics" and "quant-ph" the same?

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or else: how refined tagging system would you like to have?

On one hand, it is good to have a precise thematic separation of different topics. On the other hand, if you have lots of tags denoting something similar, people will start using them quite arbitrarily, as for example the practice on Mathoverflow shows.

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retagged Mar 7, 2014
In the early days of the physics site I came up with a [list of subfield tags](http://meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/8/physics-subfield-tags-and-general-tag-rules), which may or may not be useful for you.

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+1: This is a very good observation. Thank you for posting.

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Agreed, at some time during the Beta we should start the merging. I suggest however we wait a while and see what type of Tags the community prefers (Public Beta?). I believe the two dilemmas we will be facing are:

Full Title Tags vs. Short Tags

General Tags vs. Localized Tags

Just seems cleaner to have one style of tagging. Personally I prefer Localized Full Title Tags (Like "Quantum Mechanics").

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the following, we could also consider a mixture "Short Version . Long Version", as found on MO (Example: "ag.algebraic-geometry").

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answered Sep 17, 2011 by (230 points)
For ag.algebraic-geometry, MO just lifted the arXiv tags, which worked very well for mathematics. The arXiv tags didn't work as well for TCS stackexchange. For TP, I don't know what will work well.

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In the context of this site, the bulk of the questions we anticipate will come from research physicists (or atleast graduate students in theoretical and mathematical physics and upwards) -- so I would say the distinction is fairly substantial. ... (A proposed distinction (but still under discussion) is to use an arXiv identifier + plus additional identifiers specific to the exact topic(s) of the question, i.e. as refined as possible given a limit of five tags per post.)

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answered Sep 17, 2011 by (155 points)
This is why the community usage will decide on these matters. At this moment (though too early) I do not see any distinction in usage of the two above mentioned tags.

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It was clear to me that the difference is substantial. However, the question is, how substantial. Will people use it correclty? And, more importantly (but connected), will people find what they are looking for if there is a plethora of tags?

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I agree. ... I'm requesting members who've posted questions on [Physics SE](http://physics.stackexchange.com) to voluntarily repost (and delete from PSE) questions more appropriate for this site. ...

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I think, at bare minimum, there is the mathematical physics vs. theoretical physics division: mathematical "quantum mechanics", with all the attendant issues and topics that mathematical physicists deal with (e.g. operator algebras, spectral analysis, related functional analysis topics, etc.); and "quantum physics" from the theoretical physics perspective (as in the arXiv classification). ... Apart from that, the distinction can be as specific as the poster wants. ... whatever allows the community members to categorise their posts in the most relevant manner.

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I see no distinction whatsoever between to the two. The arXiv defines quant-ph as quantum physics which is clearly synonymous with quantum mechanics. The newer engine incorporates tag-synonyms which will sort out some of the confusion by automatically retagging questions. (I don't know if MO has it being a stackexchange 1.0 site.) The difficulty lies with choosing which one is the main term, i.e. does quantum-mechanics point to quant-ph, or vice verse. Towards that end, I'm a fan of full tags for clarity, but I think generality vs. locality will work itself out.

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answered Sep 19, 2011 by (240 points)
@UGPhysics, forgive me, but I still fail to see the point your trying to make and how it relates to the point I was making.

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of granularity should be atleast a degree -- or, more appropriately, two -- of what is used in Physics SE questions on theoretical / mathematics physics.

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True. The two terms seem trivially interchangeable. A tagging guide for first-time users to the site might prove useful.

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... better profile of). ... Meanwhile, mathematical / rigorous investigations on this *framework* tend to fall within the purview of mathematical physics (to illustrate from the above examples); and in some cases ideas developed in the process have little or nothing directly to do with physics, e.g. functional analysis, representation theory, (maybe also operator algebras - I'm not exactly certain of this though) and other purely math topics initially inspired by 'quantum mechanics'. ...

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@UGPhysics, I think you've read into the question somewhat. To me it is a question on the distinction between two very similar things, in addition to a caution about what occurs with such fine distinctions.

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