I was reviewing the question https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/31449/is-respawning-technologically-feasible-in-pandora and agreed with one of the comments that it might be better placed (with a bit of rewording) over on physics.SE so I voted to close as off-topic, but the only option is to move the question over to meta.scifi.SE

I recall a small number of other questions that have also been more science than science-fiction, and given the nature of sci-fi, it isn't surprising that questions can end up falling into "how would this actually work" or "is this feasible now" type of questions that are better asked at physics.SE

So, should we add physics.SE as an option?

I guess a similar argument could be made for including english.SE in the list (again, a small number of questions)

  • There've also been a few that could've tentatively gone to biology.SE, but may not have been welcome for the same reasons Gilles mentions
    – Izkata
    Feb 6, 2013 at 0:34

2 Answers 2


No. Please. (I moderate Physics.SE)

Firstly, our FAQ says:

  • Questions about fictional physics

"Could a warp drive get you out of a black hole?"

Questions about physics of fictional worlds which are not sufficiently grounded in real physics are off topic here, but they may be on topic at Science Fiction & Fantasy.

(If you guys don't like such questions either, I'd be happy to reword it and/or remove the SF&F link)

"Is this feasible now", while sometimes on topic, is better kept off Physics.SE. The community frowns on these (and they are many a time too vague to be meaningfully answered in a physics context). Sometimes rewording it would work. but more often than not it won't.

Comments suggesting "this is better on <site>" many a time come from users who haven't yet participated on said site. I wouldn't take them seriously unless the user has spent some time on Physics.SE. I'm not saying that all suggested migrations are bad if they come from these folks, I'm saying that the existence of such comments has no major bearing on such a decision. Also, this is a valid argument against letting all 3k+s migrate. This is already a major problem on StackOverflow, where people (used to) vote to migrate to Programmers (and this still happens for migrations to SU/SF IIRC) without knowing much about the site, leading to a lot of bad migrations.

As far as I can tell, the current system is working fine -- if you feel something ought to be migrated, don't hesitate to flag. Your moderator(s) will look into it and send it over if necessary. If we don't like it, we shall close the question (which rejects the migration).


In the past 90 days, we've migrated a grand total of 0 questions away to Physics. Migration paths are only created when a sizable number of questions are migrated. So, no.

Note that Physics.SE, generally speaking, does not want questions about fictional worlds. “Is this feasible” questions that are asked here often don't have enough information for physicists who haven't read the book (or seen the movie, etc.) to answer. The question you cite is a prime example of this. I don't have statistics, but my impression is that of the flags/comments/chat messages that have requested migrations to Physics, a significant minority were about questions which Physics.SE would have (or did) decline, either on that basis or because the question was just too poorly thought out.

In my experience, people who have a good physics question ask it on Physics.SE in the first place. If you see a question that would really be a good fit on Physics.SE, feel free to flag for migration. Do mention if you're a regular on Physics.SE. But even then I'd generally advise suggesting to repost instead.

  • I wasn't aware of any actual migration statistics, simply that there have been comments saying "this belongs more on physics.SE" and links to similar/duplicate questions on physics.SE - I agree with your point about the question content, but that can be fixed by editing and is no worse than asking that question directly on physics.SE. Another consideration would be the likelihood of the user simply going forward and asking the question over there (which is undesirable).
    – HorusKol
    Feb 6, 2013 at 8:53
  • 1
    @HorusKol Most of the time, people asking for those migrations, aren't actually users of those other SE sites. And it usually shows, since our brand of question is usually unwanted in serious science SE sites, as Manishearth's answer states.
    – user1027
    Feb 6, 2013 at 15:32

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