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StackOverflow equivalent for physics?

Interested in StackOverflow for physics?

Poll closed Sep 11, 2009.
  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. Maybe, let's see how it goes

    0 vote(s)
  3. No

    2 vote(s)
  1. Jul 23, 2009 #1


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    Homework Helper

    I didn't think this question would fit in any of the other forums, hopefully this is the right place...

    I'm not sure how many other people on this forum are familiar with StackOverflow - it's basically a question-and-answer site for computer programming where members can rate each others' questions and answers. Anyway, for quite a while, since even before I joined PF, I've been thinking that the format of the site might work pretty well for physics Q&As as well. (I can understand the concern that a lot of people who may not know much about physics would be involved in the rating process, but the model works well for programming, so I figure it's at least worth a try for physics) Now that the people behind StackOverflow are planning to make their system available for other topics, I'd like to start one for physics, but I want to gauge whether it's going to be worthwhile first.

    So the question is, does anyone know whether there's an already-established project applying the StackOverflow model to physics? And if not, do you think there'd be enough interest to make it worth starting one?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2009 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Programming questions probably lend themselves more to a question answer format, whereas physics questions are usually more conceptual and less deadline driven (you're not stuck halfway through writing a program) and hence lend themselves more to an open conversation
  4. Jul 24, 2009 #3
    I've tried it before & failed. The most important thing is you need a huge audience on day 1.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  5. Jul 24, 2009 #4


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The main difference is that in the SO system answers are discrete and are wrong/right - the users then vote up the correct answer by consensus.
    In PF the answer is more often a conversation as you explain each step and the poster (especialy for HW) responds - it wouldn't make sense to reorder the responses and vote some up.
    Some elements of PF have been used in SO, like reputation - so you can tell if an answer comes from somebody with a history.
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