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  Good examples of question for FAQ

+ 5 like - 0 dislike

I think it will be nice to collect a list of exemplary questions, to by placed in the FAQ. More diverse and better showing the scope of TP.SE - the better to be placed in FAQ.

The idea is taken from Physics.SE - FAQ.

It addresses very real doubts of the potential users. E.g. on Area 51 proposal Quantum Information and Foundations some people perceived TP.SE as not wanting questions on quantum information, quite contrary to our scope.

So, if you have any question (or a list of question) you would like to give as an example - please put it (them) in your answer.


If you don't like the idea, consider providing a list of exemplary topics instead.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
asked Nov 2, 2011 in SE.TP.discussion by Piotr Migdal (1,260 points) [ no revision ]

3 Answers

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

I am not sure this is necessary, pragmatically the front page tells you what this site is about, and that statement may change with time. We can add some comments to the effect that we try to be inclusive and would welcome questions which stretch the definition of theoretical physics somewhat, but in all honesty we probably don't know the scope of this site yet -- it depends what the user base will end up being.

More specifically, I don't know that the existence of a question like

Rigorous security proof for Wiesner's quantum money?

would convince anyone in the Quantum Information and Foundations proposal that this is a good space for them. Any of the good arguments in that thread (e.g. the subject is interdisciplinary) or the bad ones (we don't want to rub elbows with those particle types) is an a priori argument not affected by evidence. I think it is already pretty difficult to look at our front page and come up with the impression that QI questions are not welcome here. In fact, at the moment QI research probably represents the majority of our user base.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Nov 2, 2011 by Moshe (2,405 points) [ no revision ]
The scope may change over time, but it may be good to give some hint what the page is about. With the QI the example is a bit grotesque - but it is not hard to imagine someone seeing only QI/QFT/strings and refraining from asking a question e.g. on fluid turbulence. I agree wholeheartedly with _try to be inclusive_ but along with it some actual examples may be convincing for a newcomer. Nevertheless, you may be right that the actual examples are not needed.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
By and large I don't see the harm in the list, the only hesitation is that this might have to change in time. For example, our current user base has many mathematicians and few QFT/string or condensed matter professionals, and this is reflected in the types of questions allowed. I can envision this turning around, for example if this site will have majority of working theoretical physicists of roughly the distribution of that community, and if QI will get their own space, it is then likely that questions about proving mathematical statements (like the example I gave) will be directed there.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
On the other hand, this at the moment is one of the best questions we have, and many physicists are interested in such questions. So, I think it is good to give ourselves some flexibility to define the scope of the site in the future.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
I am far from constraining the scope of TP.SE to the currently asked questions. My point is rather to give a hit of the questions we aim at. If, for some reason, the scope sharpens - we can adjust the FAQ accordingly.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
Yeah, OK, there is a probably a way to phrase it such that it clear this list examples is not exhaustive. At this point we probably want to err on the side of being inclusive.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
+ 3 like - 0 dislike

Concerning the "How to ask Questions" bit, I think this is a very good example for a question:

Mermin-Wagner theorem in the presence of hard-core interactions

It's very well written, self contained, with a short introduction & motivation. Furthermore, it has a good use of Tex and etiquette concerning links.

However, as I'm not entirely convinced by the answer, I think Moshe's example serves as a better all around package.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Nov 2, 2011 by Michael Kissner (230 points) [ no revision ]
+ 0 like - 0 dislike

Regarding the "foundations" part of that proposal, I think it would be nice to display foundational questions. Some that I like are Kotowski's question on the symmetries of Bell polytopes:

Bell polytopes with nontrivial symmetries

My own question about contextuality:

Why can't noncontextual ontological theories have stronger correlations than commutative theories?

And Migdał's question on negative probabilities:

Negative probabilities in quantum physics

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Nov 4, 2011 by Mateus Araújo (270 points) [ no revision ]

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