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Discussion about the FAQ

(0) Table of Contents  

  1. What is Physics Overflow? 
  2. The question and answer (Q&A) section 
  3. The reviews section 
  4. What software does Physics Overflow use?
  5. When/Where/How was Physics Overflow born?     
  6. How is Physics Overflow different from other physics sites?       
  7. How do I post a question, answer, or comment on Physics Overflow?   
  8. How do I edit a post?   
  9. How do I close/reopen/delete/undelete a post?  
  10. Reputation Points   
  11. Permissions 
  12. Bounties
  13. Tag Wikis
  14. The Navigation Bars 
  15. The Moderation Queues 
  16. What can I do if I observe bad things?    
  17. How do I bookmark a question, tag, category, or user?  
  18. How do I regain my Stack Exchange account?
  19. Import of SE questions
  20. How do I cite PhysicsOverflow?  
  21. How do I search PhysicsOverflow?  
  22. How do I receive notifications?  
  23. How do I ping a user?  
  24. How do I typeset in LaTeX on PhysicsOverflow?  
  25. Glossary of terms used on PhysicsOverflow  

(1) What is Physics Overflow?  

Physics Overflow is a question & answer site for physics (including theoreticalexperimental, and phenomenology)  at the graduate-level and above. Beyond this, there is also a reviews section where papers from ArXiV are automatically imported to Physics Overflow by a bot, and papers from other databases can be manually be added (probably by a plugin) for reviewing. Other users may add comments on the paper, or review the paper. The questions and answers are votable, as they are on the main site.      

There is also a meta where you can discuss the site itself, including bugs, feature requests, support requests, community moderation, and discussion in general.      

The chat room is intended for discussions that are not stricty on-topic in the other sections, but are still considered to be of interest to the community. For instance,

  • Just post a specific topic for discussion among the community
  • Discuss a recent paper or an experimental result
  • Move an off-topic discussion from a thread in another category
  • Request reviews of a webpage, blog post, or article that wouldn't go into the reviews section
  • Questions about LaTeX, Academia, etc.

(2) The question and answer (Q&A) section

This part of PhysicsOverflow is meant to be some kind of a revival of Theoretical Physics SE with a slightly lowered (graduate-level upward) bar to ask and quite a broadend scope. Basically, all graduate-level upward Physics is on-topic here. 

On-topic questions in this section include:  

  • Theoretical Physics 
  • Experimental Physics 
  • Phenomenology
  • Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology
  • Mathematical Physics and Mathematics extremely relevant to physicists, or that needs to be answered from a physics perspective 
  • Resource recommendations and Specific Reference Requests
  • Software Recommendations        
  • History of Physics
  • General Physics 

Examples of off-topic topics include:  

  • Engineering
  • Basic Physics
  • Simple mathematics not needing a physicist's point of view, or not being relevant to physicists much    
  • Non-conceptual physics (simply a copy-paste of a homework problem, for example)      
  • Why is bamboo poisonous to humans but not to pandas?   

(3) The review section

The Reviews section is devoted to open refereeing, defending and discussing of physics papers.

This review system works best, if people vote only when they feel they have an insight regarding the topic, and understand the material well enough to make a decision regarding the subject matter. Optimally, up and downvotes concerning the accuracy and originality of the papers are accompanied by detailed explanatory (supporting or critical) reviews and comments respectively, such that the present judgement of the paper by the PhysicsOverflow community is transparent and motivated by physics arguments. Also, votes can be changed later if needed. 

  • Users with at least 100 reputation may create a submission (through this page) from a research paper, seminar, conference paper, or review paper that is available online
  • Users without the required amount of reputation may suggest the submission of an ArXiV paper here.
  • The newly created submission will have the following features:
    • An advanced voting mechanism where submissions can be voted on for originality and accuracy and the overall score of the submission is calculated based on the formula \(y= \mathfrak{S} \exp\left( \sqrt[3]{\frac{\mathfrak{\times}}{5}} \right)\) where y is the overall score, x is the originality score, and \(\mathfrak{S} \) is the accuracy score.
    • A reviewing system where anybody may review the accuracy of the submission. These reviews can also be voted on.
    • A commenting system on submission where anybody may review the originality of the submission (by pointing out papers which have done work in a similar direction, for example).
    • A commenting system on the reviews where anybody can discuss the review and the author or anyone else may also defend the paper.
    • A summarising system where anyone (including the author) can summarise the paper by editing or suggesting edits on the submission. 
    • Multiple authors may be added to the submission by an administrator. Each author obtains the full reputation points (five times the overall score of the submission) from the votes.
  • Paper authors may claim authorship (be added as an author) to a paper by following the instructions here.

We maintain a completely open and transparent reject-to-review policy. Papers are usually accepted for open community review, however, they may be rejected in certain situations. Click to view larger version.


The Reviews section will be structured by the well known ArXiv physics categories supplemented by a hierachial category system. This system is implemented, but recategorising of existing papers would take some time.

(4) What software does Physics Overflow use?

We use a fork of Question2Answer v1.6.2 with the following standard Q2A-provided plug-ins:    

  • Basic AdSense (not enabled yet
  • FaceBook Login (will never be enabled)   
  • Event Logger   
  • reCaptcha 
  • Tag Cloud Widget 
  • XML Sitemap 

The following external plug-ins: 

The theme that we use the PhysicsOversnow (officially PO-theme) by polarkernel which is based on the Snow theme by Q2A market.   

We use CKEditor v1.4 for our editor and the default Q2A search widget for our search bar.

Below are some differences from the SE software:  

  Stack Exchange Physics Overflow (Q2A)
Comment Voting Only positive Positive and Negative
Vote Counts   Net score displayed[1] Vote counts displayed 
Downvote rep change A fifth or two of upvotes Same as upvotes
Accepting answers Yes[2] Disabled
Approve suggested edit 2 users needed 1 user enough
Editor Markdown Editor WYSIWYG editor
Autodeletion Inactive questions auto-deleted Questions never auto-deleted 
Comment length $\leq$ 600 characters Almost unlimited
Ping Detection Only if they have been involved in a thread, and some confusing restrictions; one user can be pinged per comment Pings all user mentions; Advanced pinging (see section 23) system
Vote Reversal Users can reverse their votes only till 5 minutes after voting Users can always reverse their votes
Vote and Rep caps Vote and Rep caps exist; serial voting automatically reversed No vote and rep caps exist; serial voting reversed by moderators for complete accuracy in detecting serial votes

[1]: Users with at least 1k rep, or who have installed a userscript, may click on net score to see vote counts  

[2]: The idea of accepting answers was completely unnecessary as the decision gives the false impression that the accepted answer is really the best. 

When/Where/How was Physics Overflow born?

See History of Physics Overflow  

(6) How is Physics Overflow different from other physics sites? 

Physics Stack Exchange

Physics Stack Exchange is a general physics Q&A library for physics at all levels, while PhysicsOverflow is an academic platform for open peer review and a postgraduate-level discussion forum . Requests for resource recommendations and other topics of general interest to the international academic physics community are welcome on PhysicsOverflow, whereas on Physics Stack Exchange this kind of question (on MathOverflow they are tagged as soft-questions) is highly restricted and mostly off-topic.


Quora is a general Q&A site, and the physics section is not restricted by level or scope, and more targetted towards popular science.


MathsOverflow is primarily a research-level mathematics site, even though mathematical physics is allowed. 


TheoreticalPhysics.SE was a site only for research-level theoretical physics. PhysicsOverflow's Q&A section is some sort of a revival of TheoreticalPhysics.SE, but with a much broader scope. We accept not only Theoretical Physics, but also Experimental Physics, Astronomy, and Phenomenology. Our scope is also more broad, since our scope is not exclusively research-level, but graduate-level and above. 

All the questions from Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange have been imported into PhysicsOverflow, and all the graduate-level ones on Physics Stack Exchange will soon be.  


PhysicsOverflow.com was a SE-1.0 site which was later taken over by Physics Stack Exchange. It was mostly populated with sub-graduate-level questions. It is not affilated in any way with PhysicsOverflow.   

(7) How do I post a question, answer or comment on Physics Overflow? 


  1. Click on the "Ask Question" button in the navigation bar: 
  2. Enter the question title, category, and tags. Type your question using the tools provided.
  3. Explanations for each button  
    • makes the text bold. 
    • I makes the text italix.  
    • S makes the text striked through.                 
    • x2 makes the text subscripted.  
    • x2 makes the text superscripted.  
    •  starts an ordered (numbered) list. 
    •  starts an unordered (bullet) list.  
    •  starts a blockquote.   
    • \(\TeX\) opens a pop-up window, which allows one to input \(\LaTeX\) code. 
    •  opens a pop-up window, which allows one to insert an image, either from its URL or from the user's local storage.  
    •  opens a pop-up window, which allows one to insert a table.       
    •  inserts a horizontal rule.      greek letters) 
    •  (1) opens a pop-up window, which allows one to add or edit a link. (2) removes the link on a particular text.      
    •  adds an anchor in the text.        
    •  makes the editor full-screen. 
    •  opens the source editor, which allows you to input HTML code instead of a WYSIWYG editor. Re-clicking this will take you back to the WYSIWYG editor.   
    • "Styles", "Format", "Font" and "Size" allow you to format the text, and they need no further explanation.    


Go the answer form below the question:  

Then type your answer in the exact same way that you would type a question.       


Click the "comment" button beneath a post:  


Enter your comment the same way you would enter a question or an answer, and then, post it.     


(8) How do I edit a post? 

Indeed, posts on Physics Overflow are editable. If you have more than 500 reputation points, you can edit a post (questions, comments, answers, everything!) directly, by clicking the "edit" button below the post. 


If you have less than 500 reputation points, then you can click the suggest edits button which has the same icon as the edit button. 

You can then follow the instructions given on the site there (expand the instructions) to suggest a new edit to the post. Someone with editing permissions will review the edit and perform it for you.  

Editing guidelines

Posts in the "Recommendations" category should be edited to include the text "[RECOMENDATION]" in the title.

Posts may be edited for readability or to make them more direct. However, keep in mind that the OP's user rights still apply, in that the OP has the final say regarding the appropriateness of your edit. Civility is strongly encouraged but will never be enforced.

Here are some guidelines on editing (note that they're not hard rules, and that you should generally use your common sense in editing a post)

  • You are strongly encouraged to edit a post to remove personal attacks or racist/sexist/etc. remarks as they do not refer to factual content, but rather ad hominem remarks.
  • You are encouraged to refine the tone of the post to be more direct and matter-of-fact, rather than unnecessarily offensive, and excessive use of adjectives/adverbs or descriptive language can be discarded. e.g.
    • "totally worthless" to "worthless".
    • "full of crap" to "incorrect on many fronts".
    • "a construction of absolutely zero interest" to "a construction of no interest"
  • Factually empty remarks can be edited out from a post (note: If the entire post is factually empty, then flag or vote to delete the post, rather than blank it out), e.g.
    • "Do not fool yourself"
    • "My patience for this paper is nil, it is insulting the reader's intelligence"
  • On meta, you should also preserve more emotional language, since there discussions are not just about scientific facts. However, editing out of personal attacks is still encouraged, e.g.
    • "You are deluded", "You are lying" to "That is untrue"
    • "You are an idiot", "You are dishonest", "XYZ is dishonest", etc. can be edited out altogether.
  • Corrections of typographical errors and grammatical inconsistencies/errors are a valid reason to edit a post, and completely welcome. However, it is important to ensure that the meaning of the post is not changed with the edit.
  • Dissent about factual statements made in the post should be addressed by submitting a comment rather than by an edit (unless OPs agree that it's an error, but do not edit their post). Make sure that all seemingly factual information (including value judgments you disagree with) is preserved by any rephrasing.
  • You are encouraged to edit questions that are low-level, off-topic, etc. to make them more appropriate for PhysicsOverflow, as long as the new question is not totally different, in that any existing answers, including possible answers to the old question, should not look out of place upon the edit.
  • Please do not attempt to enforce conventions such as:
    • Natural units vs. S.I. units
    • English (UK) vs English (US) or any other widely accepted form of English
    • Accepted symbols and notation, e.g. between \(\mathrm{Re}(z)\) vs. \(\Re (z)\).
  • Translations of contributions written in non-English languages are completely welcome.

If you are a contributor whose text was edited, and you don't like the edit, it is often better to improve it further in the light of the corrections made than to undo it, which is usually appropriate only in case the edit changes the scientific meaning of the post.

(9) How do I close/reopen/delete/undelete a post? 

Users with less than 500 reputation cannot do any of those. However, they can still help out by downvoting and flagging bad posts.  

The following instructions apply to users with at least 500 reputation.


If you spot a bad or off-topic question, then help us moderate the site by voting to close it. Below the question, you will find a button that says "vote to close" 


Click it. You will be lead to a page on which you can propose the question to be closed. If the suggestion to close the question already exists, you can just upvote the existing suggestion. 

When the suggestion (whether it is yours, or someone elses), reaches a net score of +2, the question will be closed by a moderator. 


The same holds for reopening. If you feel that a question has been wrongly closed, then you may click the "vote to reopen" button under it, which will lead you to a page, where you may propose that the question be reopened.   

If the suggestion (yours or existing) reaches a net score of +2, the question will be reopened by a mod.     


Go here. Then do the same.  


Go here. Then do the same.              

(10) Reputation Points

Reputation points are a rough measure of your contribution to the site (this is not to say, however, that participating on meta doesn't help the site. Of course it does.). It helps decide the permissions you get.       

How do I gain/lose reputation? 

In Q&A  

  • Question upvoted +5 
  • Question downvoted -5 
  • Answer upvoted +10  
  • Answer downvoted -10  
  • Review upvoted +100  
  • Review downvoted -100  
  • Submissions - 50 times the score

In Resources and References, Meta and Chat 

(no reputation change)     


You can also earn reputation by winning a bounty.   

You can also lose reputation by giving away a bounty.    

(11) Permissions 

The following are the permissions ("priviledges") you get with rep or whatever. Note that every user group in a third-level heading also has the permissions of the user group in the previous third-level heading of the same second-level heading, and that every user group in a fourth-level heading also has the permissions of the previous fourth-level heading in the same third-level heading. 


  • Viewing non-admin pages  
  • Asking questions
  • Answering questions
  • Commenting anywhere 
  • Suggesting Edits
  • Searching 
  • Create new tags 
  • Searching for users 



  • Posting messages on User walls 
  • Viewing Post Histories 

15 points 

  • Voting on Comments  

25 points 

  • Voting on Questions  

50 points 

  • Voting on Answers           

500 points   

  • Editing any post or comment
  • Retagging or Recategorising any question    
  • Voting to Close 
  • Voting to Reopen
  • Voting to Delete
  • Voting to Undelete 
  • Voting on Tag Synonyms 
  • Voting on Tag Aninhilation
  • Voting on community moderation threads, including elections
  • Viewing Closed Questions
  • Access the AnsweredByComments (ABC) plugin.

Registered & Email-Confirmed 


  • Flagging Posts  
  • Posting messages on User walls 

0 points   

  • Flagging Posts  
  • Submitting papers

50 points 

  • Direct submission of papers


  • Closing or Reopening any question   
  • Deleting or Undeleting any post 
  • Editing Tag Descriptions 
  • Approving or Rejecting reshown posts  
  • Rollbacking edits
  • Viewing IPs  
  • Viewing voters and flaggers 
  • Blocking or unblocking users   
  • Importing questions from SE 
  • Silently editing posts
  • Adding submission authors


  • Permanently deleting users and posts 
  • Creating moderators
  • Viewing user emails 
  • Changing plug-in options and enabling/disabling them 
  • Merging duplicate posts 
  • Create tag synonyms and deleting tags 
  • Edit custom pages 
  • Make new custom pages  
  • Edit areas of the site, like head, footer, sidebar, navbar, etc.
  • Create, Edit, or Delete categories
  • View user emails  
  • Change some other settings through the admin panel   
  • Creating Administrators
  • Creating other Super-Administrators 
  • Merging accounts
  • Resetting accounts 
  • Changing post authors   
  • Renaming users 

System Developers (polarkernel) 

  • Installing plug-ins 
  • Make Changes to Q2A core 
  • Change the Q2A database 
  • Make changes to Q2A plugins 
  • Make changes to Q2A themes  
  • Magic    

(12) Bounties 

Bounties are a way of promoting a particular question you find interesting. Instructions here

Basically, you offer some of your reputation points so that someone answers a particular question. You choose the answer which you like best by linking to it on the bounties page. If you don't choose the answer within one day after the time limit you have specified, the bounty will be awarded to the most upvoted answer. 

(13) Tag Wikis 

Tag wikis, or tag descriptions, are descriptions of tags on tag pages. They can only be edited by experts, moderators, administrators, and super-administrators. However, any user may suggest an edit on them. They are called tag "wikis" for historical reasons - the tag descriptions used to be hosted on an external, editable wiki.

(14) The Navigation Bars   

There are four navigation bars on Physics Overflow, in addition to a footer. 

Note: To users with JavaScript disabled, the HeadBar and the Admin Bar do not appear and their contents appear as a part of the NavBar.  

I. The TopBar

The top-most bar contains account-related matters, link to Moderation (usable by 500+ rep users only), and a search widget.   

On the left-most (in red), there is a link to one's user profile. 

Next, (in blue), one's total reputation on Physics Overflow is written. 

Next, there is a link to edit one's account details, user profile, and so on. 

This is followed by a list of one's updates, which is less comprehensive than the User History which can be found on the SubNavBar of one's profile page. 

II. The HeadBar 

The HeadBar is the bar in the header, next to the logo.  

  • Ask Question allows one to ask a question 
  • All Activity shows the recent activity on Physics Overflow.  
  • Tags is a list of tags on Physics Overflow.  
  • Categories shows the categories on Physics Overflow.
  • Users is a list of Physics Overflow users. 

III. The Admin Bar

The Admin Bar contains the "Search User" link and all the tools that are not available to anonymous users, including:   

  • Search User (visible to all) 
  • Chat (visible to Registered Users) 
  • Import Votes (visible to Registered Users, usable by at least 500 rep) 
  • Moderate (visible to Registered Users, usable by at least 500 rep)     
  • Webmaster (visible to Admins) 
  • Admin (visible to Admins) 
  • Comment2Answer (visible to Admins) 
  • User Admin (visible to Admins, usable by Super-Admins)
  • Import SE Question (visible to Super-Admins)  


IV. The NavBar

The NavBar contains many links that can be seen by all users, listed below: 

  • Questions shows a list of the questions on Physics Overflow. 
  • Unanswered is a list of the unanswered questions on Physics Overflow.  
  • Reviews is the reviews category. 
  • Q&A is the Q&A. 
  • Meta is meta. 
  • Blog is the blog associated with Physics Overflow, which was also used to discuss while starting the site up.   
  • Featured ! is a list of questions with a bounty on.  

V. The SubNavBar

The SubNavBar is used to list subpages, etc. of a particular page. It is found only on certain pages, e.g. user pages, the questions page, and the admin panel. On the users page, it contains the following links on the user pages:  

  • Wall (Public Message Wall)
  • Recent Activity (not as comprehensive as the user history)
  • All questions (posted by the user)
  • All answers (posted by the user) 
  • History (User history, contains rep history, recent activity, updates, etc., some things are hidden from public view)

The questions page contains the following subpages in the SubNavBar: 

  • Recent questions
  • Hot questions (questions with a lot of activity, votes, views, etc.)
  • Questions with a high net score    
  • Questions with many answers
  • Questions with a lot of views  

The Admin Panel does not need further documentation.  

VI. The Footer

The footer is not a navigation bar, but it contains a link to a form to contact the site's Super-Administrators privately, and a link to the Question2Answer (the software that we use) official website, and a note saying that the theme used is "OverSnow", short for "Physics OverSnow" by polarkernel, based on the standard Snow theme.  

(15) The Moderation Queues 

If you have 500 reputation points, you may help Physics Overflow further by helping out in Community Moderation. From the Navigation Bar, click "Moderate":

 enter image description here

You will be lead to this page. There, you can help with the following tasks:

  • Reviewing Suggested Edits which are suggested by lower-reputation users.
  • Reviewing Close Votes or casting them yourself if you think that the certain questions are not appropriate for Physics Overflow.  
  • Reviewing Reopen Votes or casting them yourself if you think that certain questions have been wrongly closed. 
  • Reviewing Delete Votes or casting them yourself if you think that a certain post is spam, gibberish, or off-topic. 
  • Reviewing Undelete Votes or casting them yourself if you think that a certain post has been unfairly deleted. This is hopefully rare, since posts may only get deleted for the above mentioned reasons.  

For each task, click on the link to see the review page, together with the instructions.

(16) What can I do if I observe bad things ?

(Users with less than 500 reputation) 

I see an off-topic/low-level question  

Downvote the question and flag it. A moderator will attend to your flag and put it up in the queue. Your identity will not be revealed. If many people agree with your flag, the question will be closed. 

I see a non-answer (incl. spam) or spam question      

Same thing. Downvote the post and flag it. A moderator will attend to your flag and put it up in the queue. Your identity will not be revealed. If many people agree with your flag, the post will be deleted. 

(Users with at least 500 reputation)    

I see an off-topic/low-level question  

Downvote the question and Vote to Close it by clicking the "Vote to Close" Button. You will be directed here. Check if the question has already been reported, and if it is, then upvote the proposal to close it. If not, then write a new answer linking to the question. If your proposal reaches a net score of +2, the question will be closed. 

I see a non-answer (incl. spam) or spam question      

Downvote the post. Copy the URL of the post. If it is an answer, you can click on "answered" below the post content and you will get the URL. Then in the White Navigation Bar, click on "Moderate". 

enter image description here 

Select "Review Delete Votes": 

Then do the same as what you would do to vote to close a question. 

All Users 

I disagree with a moderator decision 

While the moderators are supposed to exercise the will of the community at all costs, in case you feel that they make a mistake (which does not violate any conservation laws, so this has a non-zero probability of occuring.), Make a post on meta condemning the action. Other people will add comments to the post, and if enough people agree, the moderator decision will be overruled by the community.  

If the moderator decision is outright ridiculous (e.g. banning an extremely important contributor to the site, or coming up with niceness rules), there could be a vote whether the moderator is to retain their moderatorship any longer.   

If you have at least 500 reputation, and disagree with the closure of a question, then you can vote to reopen it. 

If you don't have enough reputation, make a post about it on meta. 

I observe or experience bad or inappropriate things 

In this case you can use flags or write an email to admin@physicsoverflow.org. The issue will then be treated in strict confidence by the PhysicsOverflow team

(17) How do I bookmark a question, tag, category or user? 

If you want to recieve updates each time 

  • there is new activity on a particuar question, or 
  • there is a new question with a particular tag, or 
  • there is a new question in a particular category, or 
  • there is a new post by a particular user, 

Just go to the question, tag, category, or user 's page, and click the Star on the top right.  

(18) How do I regain my SE account? 

If you participated on the Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or the Physics Stack Exchange, then your posts may already have been imported, so you may already have an account on Physics Overflow.  Please search for your account to check if this is the case. 

Enter your username, and press "Search".

Enter your username

If you are lead to your profile, your account exists. Then you can regain access to your imported account. To do so, click on "Regain SE account" in the sidebar sidebox. Now, follow the instructions there, and choose your preferred way of getting access to your account.  

If you never had an SE account, or never had graduate-level posts on SE, just register as a new user.

(19) Import of SE questions

All the questions from Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange have been imported, as they fall into the "graduate-level" category. 

Most questions from Physics Stack Exchange in high-level tags which are not taggable as popular-science are theoretically eligible for import, and are given priority if they are endangered, very high-level, or spotted early.  

Some such questions are listed here and here in the blog. 

The final procedure in the long run is to list questions that should be imported on the Request for import votes thread, accessible from the top menu bar.

Inappropriate questions (imported or not) can be listed in the corresponding community moderation threads (they mimic the review queues of SE) accessible from the link Moderate in the top menu bar.

The copyright issues have been taken care of, since Stack Exchange is CC-by-SA content, and we have attributed them, and are not a commercial for-profit. For more information see the page Attributions.   

You are generally permitted to make your own posts native (i.e. remove the attribution line) if the criteria mentioned here are met.

(20) How do I cite Physics Overflow?  

User contributions on PhysicsOverflow are all licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0 as stated at the bottom of every page.  

If using user-generated content from PhysicsOverflow, please be sure to clearly state that the content is from PhysicsOverflow, link to the post, clearly state the username of the poster of the content, link to the user's user page, mention the time at which the post's content was taken (correct to the nearest minute, and with time zone specified), and a link to PhysicsOverflow. For example, 

This post imported from PhysicsOverflow at 2014-03-30 15:47 (UCT), posted by SE-user physicsnewbie

In a research paper, report, etc., the following citation style is acceptable,   (\(\mathrm{Bib}\TeX \))

@MISC {4657,
    TITLE = {FAQ for Physics Overflow},
    AUTHOR = {dimension10 (http://www.physicsoverflow.org/user/dimension10 )},
    HOWPUBLISHED = {PhysicsOverflow},
    NOTE = {URL:http://www.physicsoverflow.org/4657 (version: 2014-03-21)},
    EPRINT = {http://www.physicsoverflow.org/4657},
    URL = {http://www.physicsoverflow.org/4657}

For answers, use the title of the question.  

To find the permalink to a post (question/answer/comment), click on the "asked"/"answered"/"commented" button. You may end up with a URL like this one:  


It is enough to use the shortened form of the URL:  


I.e. remove the question title and the ?show parameter with it's value from the URL if you want a short URL.  

(21) How do I search PhysicsOverflow?  

You may search PhysicsOverflow from the top-right search bar.  

Alternatively, you my use PhysicsOverfind, a Google Custom Search.   

(22) How do I receive notifications?

When someone comments on your post, answers your question, pings you, votes on your post, etc. you will see a small number (in a yellow background) beside your username in the top-bar.  

It will lead to your history page. For example, if your username is John Doe, you will be lead to this page. The unread notifications appear highlighted. 

Note: This may occassionally have some rendering problems with WebKit-based browsers such as Chrome, Opera, and Safari. If you do not see notifications, try the following:

  1. Check that it's not a CSS issue by ensuring you see a yellow box with a black "2" inside here: polarkernel 2.
  2. If the box does not render correctly, you probably have a custom stylesheet installed on your browser. If so, try disabling the stylesheet.
  3. If it does render correctly, click on your username in the top-bar and click the "History" tab in your sub-nav-bar. The notifications should be activated now.
  4. If you still don't receive notifications correctly, try viewing PhysicsOverflow from a non-webkit browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. Repeat step 3 and see if you get notifications (on any browser).
  5. Try logging out and back in, and clear your browser's cookies.
  6. If the bug still persists, report the bug from the "Send feedback" button at the bottom of the page.

(23) How do I ping a user?  

To alert a user, please use the "@" command and remove spaces from the username, example, the user "John Doe" should be pinged as "@JohnDoe", while the user "Johndoe" should be pinged as "@JohnDoe". The post author is always automatically pinged (unless you are the post author).

Advanced pinging

  • In comments, @upvoters and @downvoters ping the upvoters and downvoters of the post the comment is on, respectively. E.g. if A posts an/a answer/question, and B downvotes it, then when C (or A, or B) writes a comment with the magic phrase @downvoters, B gets a ping with description "received a ping".
  • In all QAC (questions, answers, and comments) posts, writing 
    • @experts and @editors pings all experts, editors, moderators, administrators, and super-administrators. 
    • @mods and @moderators  pings all moderators, administrators, and super-administrators.  
    • @admins and @administrators pings all administrators and super-administrators. 
    • @super-admins and @super-administrators pings all super-administrators.

(24) How do I typeset in LaTeX on PhysicsOverflow?  

PhysicsOverflow supports MathJax for \(\LaTeX\) support.  

You may click the "\(\TeX\)" button in the editor to enter LaTeX as described here. However, you may also type equations between dollar signs for inline mathematics and double-dollar signs for block equations.  

For a more detailed tutorial on MathJax, please see this post.  

(25) Glossary of Physics Overflow terms 

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