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I was working through Griffiths' for quantum mechanics, and I came across some problems where we have to calculate expectation values. This motivated me to ask the following question: https://math.stackexchange.com/q/4480981/. I don't understand why this question was downvoted. It's not a homework problem, it seems plausible that such a trick might exist, and I explained the question clearly. Furthermore, I am really getting quite frustrated by people on stack exchange (physics and math) downvoting posts of new users and giving no justification as to why. How are new users supposed to improve?

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    $\begingroup$ See the following for how to ask a good question math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9959/… $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ As written, your question on main does not meet the current MSE quality standards. This probably explains the one downvote you got on it. In addition to Arctic's suggestion, take a look here for a shorter suggestion on how to avoid downvotes. $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ Actually "I was working through Griffiths' for quantum mechanics, and I came across some problems where we have to calculate expectation values. This motivated me to ask the following question..." could have been included in the question as context, along with perhaps a summary of the specific problem with calculating expectation values that you encountered. You could maybe also explain why you find it "plausible that such a trick might exist", for example similar integral tricks that you have seen. $\endgroup$
    – Elliot Yu
    Jun 28 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ Hovering the mouse over the arrows for upvotes and downvotes displays the nominal explanation, that your Question did not express cogent research before posting, resulting in formulations that are not clear or not useful. I'm not your downvoter but I left you a Comment on your main Question. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Jun 28 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ thank you @hardmath $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ The question of giving advice when downvoting has been raised many, many, many times here on math meta. Have a look for questions tagged "downvoting" or "downvotes". $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 23:12
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    $\begingroup$ There's an expectation that you spend some time trying to answer the question yourself. As written there is zero indication that you tried. Would you give us an honest estimate of the amount of time you spent trying to answer it, or describe some of the ways you approached it? $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 1:25
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    $\begingroup$ i didnt spend my life on it. i tried some integration by parts stuff, I tried a dirac delta approach, I tried looking onto if I could use convolution, then I asked one of my friends and he also thought maybe convolution, but we couldn't come up with anything. i then looked up the question online and found nothing. I'm self studying quantum mechanics in my free time this summer, I'm not some student looking for someone to do my homework for me, nor am i not trying to do things myself. i just honestly didn't know the answer and wasn't even sure if such a method was possible which is why i asked. $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ see above comment @JonathanZsupportsMonicaC $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ thank you @ElliotYu $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ why should i spent time explaining all of this? those approaches didn't work so how does it help someone trying to answer my question? I'm not trying to be sassy or sarcastic I'm legitimately asking why this matters. @JonathanZsupportsMonicaC $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Relativisticcucumber - those details are really useful in understanding the context in which the question arose, and what level of math you are working at. If you include them in your future questions, I'll bet you get a better response. $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ got it that is valid thank you ill do that next time @JonathanZsupportsMonicaC $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ How many examples did you try before posting? $\endgroup$
    – WillO
    Jun 30 at 23:37
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    $\begingroup$ @WillO - Look 7 comments above yours. $\endgroup$ Jul 1 at 0:52

2 Answers 2

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Give more context so people know where you are at.

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I wouldn’t worry at all about a single unexplained downvote. Look for patterns as you ask more questions.

On Physics, where I can see your reputation, you only seem to have one or two downvotes across fourteen posts. Don’t worry about them yet.

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  • $\begingroup$ How can you come up as a new contributor when your profile states you've been a member for 8 years? Moreover your mod diamond doesn't show... Is there a separate profile for the main site user and the meta user? $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, profiles are separate on main and meta. The “new contributor” label is probably because I’ve never posted on Math Meta before. My diamond and its special privileges are only on Physics (and Physics Meta). $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Jun 29 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ … the things you learn. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 16:30

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