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Flip Tanedo | USLHC | USA

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New Q&A websites for physics

I’m always intrigued by new ways to use the Internet to improve the way we do and share physics. It was something of a coincidence that within a week of each other I received two e-mails introducing new question-and-answer websites of interest to the high energy physics community and the general public interested in physics.

  • A proposal for a High-Energy Physics Q&A site based on the popular Stack Overflow framework. This is still in the “definition” phase where it’s looking to gather a critical number of followers and model questions to demonstrate the viability of the project. A shining example of this sort of site in a related field is Math Overflow.
  • Quora, a similar website built on a slightly different architecture. Quora is a Q&A site for any kind of question (not just science) and is tied into social networking; it requires a Facebook or Twitter account to join. Quora already has High-Energy Physics and Particle Physics sections. (I don’t actually understand the difference between the two categories.)

Both sites show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing how they progress. These are the Web 2.0 progeny of newsgroups (like sci.physics.research) and  forums (e.g. Physics Forums) that really piqued my interest in physics as a teenager.

I guess at this point I should make an obligatory reference to CERN’s role in the history of the Internet.

Anyway, I encourage people to check out the proposed HEP-overflow (my own made up name) and Quora. HEP-overflow, in particular, needs community support to move on so I especially encourage researchers to take a look at it.

Finally, as always, we’re still very happy to try to answer any questions that you leave in the comments of our blog! 🙂

Cheers,
Flip (US LHC blogs)

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