I've read the questions about merging the tags, definitive answer and the duplicate one. I appreciate that the tags are in fact different, physics is for mathematics which have applications in physics, whereas mathematical-physics is more to do with spectral theory and QM etc, 'modern' mathematics in physics and an answer indicates, like that in Reed-Simons books.

These seems fine to me but I don't believe the tags reflect this clearly enough. Firstly the excerpts contain some very similar wording:

Mathematical physics consists of the application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories.


Questions related to mathematical physics which include application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories.

Which is which?

Secondly it's not consistent, For physics there's an excerpt and tag wiki, but for mathematical-physics there's only an excerpt and what is essentially the tag wiki is squashed in here:

This tag is intended for questions on methods used e.g. in quantum mechanics or general relativity at an advanced undergraduate or graduate level. (*)

Possible Suggestions

If I'm not mistaken the excerpt should explain how to use the tag whereas the wiki should give a bit of background to the tag like for example the (calculus) one. So maybe have (*) for the excerpt and then explain some of the background for the tag in the wiki.

Along these lines, I don't think, as present on the (physics) tag, linking to general wikipedia pages (which have a very large amount of text and sections) is very helpful to anyone. Surely one could quote and cite the specific information that is useful rather than have these vague links.

Lastly my motivation for asking this is that since I'm studying physics and at the moment (although there is some discussion) mathematical questions with less of a conceptual problem tend to be closed on or migrated from physics stack, so it might be useful to have the tag(s) read a bit clearer.

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  • $\begingroup$ People don't even read the tag wikis / excerpts. People post physics questions here just because there are a few numbers and computations involved, and then use the existence of the tags as justification for their behavior. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Aug 5 '16 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi But I mean they're not off topic though right? I read the tag wiki and excerpt. I read them if I'm going to tag my question, the excerpt that is. The excerpt pops up when you go to tag a question. $\endgroup$ – snulty Aug 5 '16 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ Physics question are off topic in the overwhelming majority of cases; but even off topic questions need to be tagged. Mathematical physics questions are typically on topic, but people have trouble recognizing mathematical physics from physics. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Aug 5 '16 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi Wouldn't that then be helped by cleaning up the excerpts, which you do see when you go to pick a tag. Out of curiosity can you see statistics by any chance to see how many of the (at present) 2,157 questions tagged physics are closed as off topic? $\endgroup$ – snulty Aug 5 '16 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ Aside: It seems to me that the tag "physics" is almost useless. If a question can only be tagged as "physics" and nothing else, then it is surely off topic here. May be it is only useful for migration from Physics SE? $\endgroup$ – user99914 Aug 5 '16 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar tbh I imagine that it might give help give context to a post. Imagine solving a differential equation or an integral or whichever, and you see the tag physics, it might help the potential answerer connect to where they could've seen this before etc. I mean this is only really helpful initially anyway, maybe in skimming a question. Speculation but still. $\endgroup$ – snulty Aug 5 '16 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar Couldn't the same be argued about tags like maple and matlab? $\endgroup$ – snulty Aug 5 '16 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ @snulty Yes, the same is true for these two. But the difference is that maple and matlab are considered by some users as on topics here. While I guess no one will agree that a pure physics question is on topic. $\endgroup$ – user99914 Aug 8 '16 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar Regardless of whether it's on topic though, and even if physics is just used to tag questions moderators want to close (which I don't think is the case) shouldn't the tag wikis or excerpts be cleaned up? If I posted a suggestion would that help things along? Also to be honest surely the tag kinematics be essentially the same as physics? Maybe that's for another question$\ldots$ $\endgroup$ – snulty Aug 13 '16 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi Any comments on that last statement also? $\endgroup$ – snulty Aug 13 '16 at 23:45

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