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FAQs for the forum?

  1. Jan 12, 2007 #1
    Why are there no frequently asked questions stickies in the forum, I'm sure people are driven spare by the number of times a particular question comes up like is .99999=1 and particle/wave duality is it custardy? And how big is a photon threads etc.

    Why not put a little stickied section where all these questions have been discussed ad nauseum before so people can check them out before cluttering up the forum with more excercises in semantic discussion, and obviously before some of the mentors burst a blood vessel dealing with these interminable questions :smile:

    I apologise if this already exists, but in the sections I've seen they don't have FAQ, in any but the homework threads, and that's not really a FAQ thread.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2007 #2
  4. Jan 12, 2007 #3
    So it only has one in general physics then? To be honest I very rarely go there and hadn't noticed, that must make me strange,I think number theory and quantum mechanics would benefit from their own FAQ.
     
  5. Jan 12, 2007 #4

    arildno

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    Well, I think cracpottery should be actively discouraged, and I fear that having a visible 0.9999...=1? at all times will only attract them to post their particular rants.
     
  6. Jan 12, 2007 #5
    I don't see that as being a good argument, crackpots are going to post anyway, reading a FAQ and disagreeing with it wont realy lead to them posting less nonsense:smile: . Of course you could just write in the FAQ section that you should bear the weight of scientific/mathematical evidence in favour of these theories before attempting to voice a contrary opinion.

    I still think overall it might actually help to reduce the number of ill informed questions on the exact nature of a photon etc,etc.
     
  7. Jan 12, 2007 #6

    arildno

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    No one hinders you from making a 0.99999...=1 tutorial.
     
  8. Jan 12, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    If you make it, we can sticky it. :wink: We don't object to the idea, just nobody has found time to do it.
     
  9. Jan 12, 2007 #8

    ZapperZ

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    I initiated the FAQ in the General Physics forum because that is where almost everyone goes to. I also do not think that it is wise to have FAQ's in all of the physics forums. It is easier to find that all of them are in a single thread in one location. Besides, issues such as "Do photons have mass?" can go either in relativity or QM forum. It is a lot easier to just have them all go in one place only.

    As for the other forums (Astro, math, etc...), those are not under my control and it is up to the Moderators of those forums to decide if an FAQ is necessary for each of those forums.

    Zz.
     
  10. Jan 14, 2007 #9

    pervect

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    I have proposal for the FAQ.

    Basically, though it's easy to maintain at the moment, there is no quick summary of what questions are answered or addressed, which means that people are less likely to read it and use it.

    I would suggest expanding the first post of the FAQ with a set of hyperlinks to the questions answered by subsequent entries in the FAQ-post. This would have to be edited frequently, I hope this can be managed.

    i.e. for example

    Why Don’t Electrons Crash Into The Nucleus In Atoms?
    Is Light A Wave Or A Particle?

    (this just illustrates the principle, we'd want a link like the above for every FAQ).

    Organizational structure of the links is debatable - chronological might be the easiest, but it would be better if the entries were organized into groups (quantum mechanics, special relativity, general relativity, general physics, etc).

    It might also be useful to consider expanding the FAQ entries as well - where applicable, a pointer to previous long discussions could be useful. (Of course, sometimes the long discussions are a bit rambly, nnot sure what to do about that).
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2007
  11. Jan 14, 2007 #10

    ZapperZ

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    I'm a few steps further and several months ahead of you. :)

    That was definitely in my original plan. However, as you have said, it is still managable right now, so that is why I haven't edited the first message in the thread. I am still looking for volunteers to write other entries, so that is why I've kept the first message in the thread as is.

    However, once we have a bit more entries and navigating it becomes tedious, then I'll put in my "table of content".

    Zz.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2007 #11

    jtbell

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    How about if we at least put links to the FAQ in those forums that are related to the topics discussed in the FAQ? They would remind people that the FAQ exists, and give easy access to it, while still keeping the FAQ itself in one location for easier maintainance.
     
  13. Jan 14, 2007 #12

    Hootenanny

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    I do wonder though how many people would care to read the FAQ before posting? Those who have the for thought to search the forums before posting a question would have found the FAQ during their search (if their question related to an FAQ subject).

    Is there anyway to 'sticky' it to the actual main physics forum, so that is appears on the main page under the 'Physics' section? I think it is likely to receive more attention there than if we sticky notices in individual forums. Just my suggestion, I don't know whether it is feasible or preferable to the other suggestions.
     
  14. Jan 14, 2007 #13
    True, but actually that was not the main intention of our FAQ. We wanted to gather the answers to those questions that appear the most on our forum. When such a question pops up again, we can just make a reference to the FAQ to start with. For example, lots of people ask about the particle wave duality. When we first urge them to read the particle/wave duality post in the FAQ, we (the OP and us) both have a common base to start our discussion.

    If we have more entries, we could do that but for now the FAQ is still very small. We need more people (like you :wink:) to contribute.

    greets
    marlon
     
  15. Jan 14, 2007 #14

    Hootenanny

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    Funny you should say that....:wink:
     
  16. Jan 14, 2007 #15

    Moonbear

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    The search feature here isn't the most robust (people have better luck with a site search on Google, but someone new wouldn't likely know that). Also, if you spell something wrong, or don't choose just the right keywords, relevant threads might not pop up, or you might get swamped in too many to look through each one to see if it's relevant to your particular question.

    I hadn't looked at the Physics FAQ in a long while, and didn't realize it didn't have links to previous discussions. If there are good discussions on a subject (as opposed to rambling ones interrupted by crankiness), it would be good to have links to those, but if the discussions are too confusing, it might hurt more than help.

    How many of the FAQ topics would be suitable as tutorials if someone were to put the effort into developing something in-depth on them?
     
  17. Jan 14, 2007 #16

    Gokul43201

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    Most FAQ answers are not Tutorial material. They don't typically involve developing/honing a skill (which is what most tutorials accomplish).

    As for a Math FAQ, I had once semi-compiled (don't remember if I finished doing all I wanted with it) just such a thing out of posts by messrs Grime and Wonk (and a few others) and links to previous threads answering the same questions. I think it's on a CD-backup of an old hard-drive. If I find it, I'll send it to Halls and Hurkyl.
     
  18. Jan 15, 2007 #17
    I see I missed the brainstorming session, the 0.9999=1 question has a few threads that would serve I think, I don't see any reason why a FAQ thread couldn't be edited either? You could link the original thread there and ask people to go there to see the whole thread, I think having bulleted question links is a good idea too. As is making FAQ more visible.
     
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