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1:15 AM
@DavidZaslavsky Hmm.. If you check out physics.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/planck , there are various things tagged planck. I think blackbody radiation is liable to be tagged planck as well. So i doubt that we can synonym-ify it to . It's better if we just delete it, IMO.
Thanks for the links! Looks like everyone's playing safe on this one. Enough reasons to do so :P
Regarding , I don't think that WP would have anything about the non-intuitiveness of units; usually WP doesn't explain stuff. Yeah, but addind it to the tag wiki would be fine. I'll try that later.
1:36 AM
Oh, should we delete posts in the tag synonym meta once they get established? meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/175/… Specifically meta.physics.stackexchange.com/a/201/7433
I don't know if the flag option is for stuff like this... The tooltip says "flag for serious issues"
2:34 AM
Another useless tag
1 hour later…
3:43 AM
Q: Comparison of Q&A Sites

leongzWhat other Physics Q&A sites are there? How would you compare them to stackexchange? (Level of questions, size of user base, etc)

4:09 AM
@Manishearth Nah, you can flag for anything
@Manishearth Regarding the tag synonym meta question, it wouldn't hurt to delete the ones that have already been established, but I'm not sure if it's necessary. We may not need that thread anymore because I think the requirements for proposing synonyms have gone down.
@Manishearth There's no way (for moderators) to just delete a tag outright, it has to be merged into something
1 hour later…
5:41 AM
@DavidZaslavsky I can only think of merging it with . Or proposing it at MSO.. Either way, too much work for something small. Someone has removed from the one question (you?) it had, so it's gone now. Removing will be a bit of work and will clutter up the main page.
It's not exactly a good idea, but we could merge it with the all-encompassing The only questions tagged that don't have to do with QM are those two dealing with the PLANCK experiment.
There's also the one about color
@DavidZaslavsky Regarding synonyms, the issue is that nobody will come to know that a synonym has been proposed.
So it's better to have a meta question
(which gets bumped up every proposal)
I think it would be a good idea to edit (retag) the few questions tagged which are not related to QM, and then merge it into
I'll do that; i sec
@Manishearth Well, there are already a bunch of proposed synonyms not listed on that meta question. If you want to keep the meta question in sync with the existing list of synonyms, feel free, but it seems like a lot of work to me.
BTW for the color one I'd put on it
5:49 AM
Wouldn't make more sense? color deals with visible light mostly
Actually I wouldn't mind is got merged with EMR
/me removed
@Manishearth Oh, I thought was already on it
You can add both
By "merge", will you do it via tag synonyms or via some exotic moderator button? :P
Alright seems like tag synonyms
Exotic moderator button ;-) Tag synonyms aren't the same thing as a merge.
what's the difference?
Merging a tag just converts it into the target tag on existing questions, whereas a tag synonym is a rule that converts it into the target tag on future questions
5:52 AM
Aah; makes sense
so we'd anyways need a tag synonym along with a merge
(I don't have enough score on to propose it; though ironacally I do have enough score on )
@Manishearth I'd rather just hope that all our 2500+ rep users have the sense not to recreate the tag.
@Manishearth you mean you can't retag the question?
Which question?
I untagged the two planck questions
I can't propose a synonym for EMR
Wait, 2500+ rep is for synonyms, right? What does that have to do with re-creating a tag? This system is confusing o_0
oh, I see. I was actually thinking may be useful on its own to refer to the visible part of the spectrum
Yeah, so we'll just merge color into it
(merge as in synonym-ify)
@Manishearth hm, maybe it's not 2500, but there is some minimum amount of reputation you need to have in order to use a tag that hasn't been used before
lol, I messed that one up
sure, ttyl
@DavidZaslavsky Hi
Hello, hello, is there anybody out there?
6:19 AM
I'm back
@skullpatrol who, me?
@Manishearth Sure
Anything you want to ask?
Have you read the book "Relativity: the Special and General Theory?"
Have you heard about it?
6:22 AM
I think so...
I'm going to start reading about GR/SR/QM in a few months
It was written by Einstien for high school students.
Atm i have a sort of half-baked knowledge of these
SInce wahtever I know I got from the internet &c.. Dodn't have time to read the books
Wait I think I have that one
And I've read it..
Wait mine is different
It's "relativity" by einstein. Anyways it's not a textbooks
Hi @Ace Have you read the book "Relativity: the Special and General Theory?"
Q: Do badges result in any privileges?

JoebevoWhat exactly is the point of having badges? Do we get any special privileges with certain badges? Or is it a feature that may be used in the future?

@Manishearth Einstein writes in it that the reader should be able to understand it with a high school education.
6:30 AM
Oh i see.
What was that nonhuman post?
Oh that
@StackExchange posts new question on meta
In some sites (for example scifi.SE), it posts new questions on the main site as well
Anyway, this book is, to say the least, very difficult to understand.
I think part of it is because of the translation to English.
Yeah, the book I have is translated from German as well. But it's pretty clear
Anything you don't understand in it?
He never really defines "time."
6:41 AM
Aah. I'd say that it's because "time" is something wierd anyways. The most you can make of it is by defining perfect clocks and whatnot
In fact, he clearly defines "distance" in terms of measuring rods, but then leaves "time" as, as you say in terms of perfect clocks and whatnot.
Why do you think that defining distance in terms of rods is clearer than defining time in terms of clocks?
I can see and have been hit by a measuring rod ;-)
It's a human prejudice. We can perceive distance; so it's clear. We can't quantitatively perceive time (time flies when you're having fun and all that); so it's unclear
Hi @Skullpatrol, I was away for a little while (but back now)
6:47 AM
@DavidZaslavsky Have you read the book "Relativity: the Special and General Theory?"
I have, but a long time ago
though it's on my bookshelf so I guess I could read it again :-P
What did you think of it?
It's not bad, kind of a step up from the usual popular science books
@DavidZaslavsky He never really defines "time."
OK, so?
6:49 AM
@DavidZaslavsky In fact, he clearly defines "distance" in terms of measuring rods, but then leaves "time"
@Skullpatrol I haven't
@Ace Oh
@DavidZaslavsky In chapter VIII "ON THE IDEA OF TIME IN PHYSICS" he takes the reader through a lofty theoretical argument which is air tight, but compared to the down-to-earth argument for distance it left me wondering "Was Feynman ever right about this guy!"
Probably because it's likely easier for most people to understand the idea of relative distance than that of relative time
@skullpatrol: It's easier for us to picturise distance
We can't intuitively think of time without going in hopeless circles half the time.
@DavidZaslavsky Have you ever reread the book?
7:05 AM
As in, have I read it more than once? I don't remember
Would you recommend it to a high school student as the author does?
It's been quite a while since I last read it
I think it's quite reasonable for a high school student who is interested in this stuff
I mean, I first read it in middle school IIRC
and the math definitely is nothing more than basic algebra, which is pre-high school level
@DavidZaslavsky I was interested in this stuff until I tried to read it, and gave up after two years.
The concepts in that book are definitely tricky (as is the case with any book about relativity). I could see it being quite confusing for someone who doesn't already have a decent grounding in basic non-relativistic mechanics
7:11 AM
Let me try to recall any other good book that isn't confusing...
=( I can't .
I guess relativity is that way :\
Yeah, I think it's fair to say the theory is just fundamentally confusing when you're first getting used to it
@Skullpatrol how far have you gotten into learning non-relativistic physics?
@DavidZaslavsky I finished 1st Year.
But I wanted to see something written by the originator.
He does warn the reader, in the peface, that you will need "a fair amount of patience and force of will"
@Skullpatrol So, kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, gravity, electromagnetism? In principle you should be fine to understand special relativity, perhaps you're just not learning it in the best way
If you want to really properly learn relativity (as in, how to actually use it), I wouldn't recommend Einstein's book
@DavidZaslavsky I even passed the 1st year course in relativity!
Well in that case, if you have trouble understanding the content of this book, don't worry about it. You learn about relativity much better by actually using it than by reading about it.
7:22 AM
Why is that?
Math is not that way.
For me.
That's just the nature of learning physics. You learn much better by practicing it.
Math works the same way... have you really tried doing learning by doing math problems?
@DavidZaslavsky Have you read the Feynman Lectures?
Little bits of them, but mostly no
7:36 AM
@DavidZaslavsky I personally think that the physics professors who first read Einstein's book took the ideas and, as you said, changed them to a form that is actually usable.
And now students learn these applications first.
I certainly wouldn't call Einstein's book unusable, but people have definitely found better ways to explain it since 1905
So you don't agree with using original sources to learn Physics?
Generally, no I don't. You're better off taking the benefit of all the work people have put into distilling and reformulating the ideas since they were first introduced.
@DavidZaslavsky "distilling and reformulating ideas" ... sounds like cognitive chemistry ;-)
I suppose in a way it is
7:49 AM
Isn't that in the realm of philosophy also?
You mean the distilling and reformulating? I'd put it under education science (so, a subset of cognitive science and psychology), not philosophy
Yes, I see.
@DavidZaslavsky Thanks for your point of view.
Sure, you're welcome
It's great to see our chat room being put to good use ;-)
8:22 AM
@DavidZaslavsky Before I go I'd like your opinion on a quotation by Feynman. It went something like "I prefer to keep my feet on the ground with empirical evidence rather than have my head in the clouds with theories ... unlike giants like Einstein who can do both."
What about it?
Do you like it?
Depends, in what sense do you want me to like it (or not)?
I mean, I don't have any particular comment to make about it
Do you think it characterizes the genius of Einstein correctly?
I guess it's okay in that sense, but I would think that both Feynman and Einstein were very adept at linking empirical evidence with radical theories
(along with many other physicists)
8:37 AM
@DavidZaslavsky Here is a bit of Physics meets Math fun: E = mc^2 and a^2 + b^2 = c^2, therefore E = m( a^2 + b^2).
@Skullpatrol If you say so ;-)
Bye David, and thanks again for the help. Come and drop by the Mathematics chat room sometime.
9:00 AM
My pleasure
2 hours later…
11:17 AM
@DavidZaslavsky if you remove the tag from all questions, it gets automatically deleted after one week being unused (or something like that)
also, while we were doing tag-cleaning on French.SE, we simply asked someone from the SE staff to do a mass tag deletion (too many posts) without bumping the questions
I guess that's the best solution
@F'x a merge works as well. I already untagged the non-QM questions tagged . Anyways, too much fuss over a small thing :P
hum, some unanswered questions seem rather hard to answer in a scholarly manner
Q: Correlation/relationship between human magnetic field and body temperature

REACHUSIs there any relationship between human magnetic field and body temperature? I am looking for studies on this topic.

2 hours later…
1:03 PM
Studies on that topic would be..to say the least.. interesting :p What's the curie temp of our bodies? :D
1:22 PM
@Manishearth I can think of an experiment, but I don't have enough grad students to provide sufficient statistics on the issue
2 hours later…
3:47 PM
4:11 PM
well, I've gotta go, I'll let you write a first draft of a protocol…
see you
4:36 PM
Anyone see the vote count on physics.stackexchange.com/questions/22067/… ? It's pretty strange. IMO, the question is excellent, though naïve. You won't find the answer to that one easily. I think that only questions that show no obvious effort/obvious trolling should be downvoted (since there's no such thing as a 'wrong question'), though of course it's everyone's own choice..
1 hour later…
5:49 PM
I gave one of the downvotes. The down button says: ''It is unclear or not useful''.
I think it is both. Unclear since (as pointed out repeatedly) it is quite subjective how one counts, useless as one cannot expect anythin of value from a coincidence of such disparate counts; as the agreement of two small natural numbers is very frequent. - I gave only a few downvotes so far, but if a different voting behavior is desired, the button should say so.
2 hours later…
7:22 PM
@Manishearth I gave a downvote too, for reasons close to those of Arnold, actually
I'd probably feel like downvoting questions of the type "I noticed that alpha^13 = pi^4/42!, does it have a deeper meaning?"
7:35 PM
I personally wouldn't downvote questions like that, but like Manishearth said it's up to everyone's judgement. Downvoting is basically for any sort of behavior you want to discourage.
@Fx They try only to do that if you have a large number (many tens or hundreds) of posts with the tag.
@DavidZaslavsky yes, that's what I understand as well (it takes effort and certainly carries a small but non-negligeable risk)
2 hours later…
10:00 PM
OK, so... chat session, yay!
Q: Chat Event: News and Discussion

David ZaslavskyIn recent days, we've had a bunch of new (and not-so-new) users making great contributions to the site, and there has been a distinct uptick in meta activity. So I thought it would be a neat idea to capitalize on this by having a brief chat session where we - or at least, whoever's available - ca...

Hi @AlanSE... evidently we are not a chatty bunch ;-)
and hi @Mark and @Dilaton
Anyone have anything to ask or talk about?
I do.
Cool! I was starting to wonder if everyone had made a pact to ignore me ;-) (kidding!) What's on your mind @Skullpatrol?
The same thing we chatted about "yesterday." The usefulness of Relativity: the Special and General Theory.
Sorry I'm a slow typer
No problem
While we're at it how about the current applicability of using The Feynman Lectures for learning Physics.
10:13 PM
While this is going on, Manishearth posted some interesting topics of discussion in an answer to the meta question (linked above). @Fx, @ArnoldNeumaier, @Dilaton, @AlanSE, @MarkEichenlaub if you have any thoughts on those I would be very interested to hear them.
@Skullpatrol any particular aspect of it you wanted to bring up today?
How many people here now have read either?
Or both.
Ha ha, that's awful getting paged when sneaking in, LOL :-D Just sorting out "what is shaking" here as Sheldon says in TBBT :-)
@Dilaton heh, well since we are having an official "event" I pinged everybody ;-)
@DavidZaslavsky no, you can't ping me :)
@Fx well not for lack of trying ;-)
and hey, I could always superping you if I have to
10:23 PM
@DavidZaslavsky the only way to ping me is to reply to an old mesage, or superping :)
Anyway, I would actually like to bring up the topic of unanswered questions (@Skullpatrol if you don't mind, let's leave those books aside just for the moment)
Just to pick one thing out of the list to focus on
Other sites have had weekly or monthly "Answer the Unanswered" events in chat to try to improve their answer rate. I would like to get that going here, if we can manage it. Any thoughts?
@DavidZaslavsky You mean you can Sping people :-P ... How does superping work, or ist it a joke ?
@Dilaton It's basically just pinging someone using their account ID number instead of their display name. It works even if the person hasn't been in the chat room recently (or has a two-letter name)
It's a moderator-only ability
Example: @dilaton
A ha @David I upvoted Manishearts answer and may favorite s were to gossip about actual physics and to discuss unanswerd questions.
We can certainly do both of those
As for unanswered questions, basically I'm wondering, who would be willing to participate in a push to get questions answered? And how should we do it?
10:30 PM
Darn @David how can Your write that fast? Seems You are submitting comments FTL ;-P ...
@DavidZaslavsky I'm wondering if a push would help, or if there is just lack of regulars in some fields of physics
@Dilaton lol... practice I guess?
(but of course, I posted here for the first time yesterday, so I'm not exactly the most expert opinion around)
@Fx No, you're right, it's definitely the case that we are lacking regular expert contributors in some fields. But I think that there are a few unanswered questions that current contributors can handle with a bit of research.
You may have a point that the amount we stand to gain from a push is limited.
I'm imagining something like this: a few of us get together in chat, each pick a question to answer, and over the next week we go out and do whatever research is necessary to give it an answer
Maybe one could sort unanswered questions according to their tags and then notice people who are strong in answering in these tags? Superping them and say "You have a question to answer here" or something like that, send them 50 emails per hour, etc ;-)
10:36 PM
@Dilaton It's a good idea, but our ability to contact people who haven't volunteered to be contacted is limited. Superpings might be okay though (I'd have to check on that).
Perhaps we could use a chat event or a meta question to build up a list of people who would like to volunteer to answer an unanswered question.
@DavidZaslavsky I'm not sure they are, but take better advice from the Lounge :)
@Fx yeah, I'll look into that sometime soon
part of it is also that questions easily get burried in the main page (I have a question from 3 hours ago, and it's already far down the list)
We might even be able to work it into a contest, with a prize for whoever best answers an unanswered question or something.
encouraging people to browser their favorite tags' pages could help them realize that there are many such questions
10:39 PM
@Fx hm, I hadn't really noticed that. (I usually look at the question list sorted by newest questions) Thanks for mentioning that
if the questions become too old, people have less motivation to answer them (at least I do): you don't feel as useful to the OP
Yeah, that's true
I suppose it will be more productive to try to make sure we're catching questions with good answers as they're asked
which I think we mostly do
(Personally I tend to hold back to give other people a chance to answer first, and also because I spend a lot of time moderating rather than answering)
Hm I`m not sure, I`d still be happy to get new or better answers on my older questions; and answered questions are not only useful for the asker but for other people just browsing aimlessly around at SE (as I like to do when bored :-)... ) too.
@Dilaton Also true. But I think F'x's point is that it's going to be harder to convince as many people to answer older questions.
@Dilaton So, physics gossip? (not that we have to be done with discussing unanswered questions)
@DavidZaslavsky well, on the topic of unanswered questions, I've tried my first "real physics" question but noone wants it (physics.stackexchange.com/questions/22074)
does the site has some materials science regulars?
(not really gossip, but as close as I can manage)
10:47 PM
@Fx hehe, that works
@Fx Not that I know of, although I certainly don't know everyone's specialty fields
I think we are somewhat dominated by particle physics, string theory, general relativity, etc.
Also ColinK is in optics
@DavidZaslavsky yeah, I figured that
FWIW I thought your question was quite good, I just don't know how to answer it
in fact, last time at looked at the site (about 6 months ago), the mixture of homework questions and particle physics intimidated me, to be honest
I alway like it to start with something like this: uduality.blogspot.com, to pick up the newest gossip. The sidebar on the left shows some interesting blogs with the titles of the latest posts.
but anyway, I've gotta go, it's almost tomorrow on my side of the world
10:51 PM
@Fx We do try to keep it at a high level, in the sense that really basic homework-y questions are often closed
see you
@Fx OK, well, thanks for your input! See you around, hopefully
@Dilaton Interesting site. Perhaps you could add that to our blog thread
@ArnoldNeumaier Pardon my interruption Professor, but could I get your opinion on the learning usefulness of the book Relativity: the Special and General Theory?
Done :-)
The sidebar does seem to include most of the major players in the physics blogging community (that I've heard of, anyway), so that's definitely a good resource
Anyway, it's been an hour and I have to go do some work, but thanks everyone for showing up! I'm sure there will be more attempts to make good use of our chat room in the near future.
11:05 PM
Yeah, I quite like all of them with one exception ... ;-)
Yeah, theat was funny here !
Good night (my local time shows after midnight, gosh ....)
11:20 PM
@ArnoldNeumaier Hello?

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