I've been an active user in the SE network, especially on math.SE, physics.SE etc., but not chemistry.SE, and today I asked the question: Why is Avagadro's number independent of substance?

However, for some reason, people didn't like (I guess) the definition I gave in the questions, and I got 2 down votes so far. Normally, on other websites, this kind of question would not be down voted, and I think is an important question, which is why I took the time to ask it.

However, as I'm new to this website, chemistry.SE, I would like to know exactly why the question is down voted, and how I can prevent such a situation in the future, what are your suggestions?

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    $\begingroup$ I didn't downvote your question mainly because I'm not sure I fully understand it in the first place. However, there are several noticeable points that may be received negatively: typos (Avagadro, "The radio of the mass", "numberer"…), use of weird terminology (gram-mole), subjectivity towards a single literature source which also appears to be obsolete. And the most significant one, as I think, is the question's layout: here are some quotes, but you "cannot understand" the fact arising from those. Questions like that can rarely be well addressed. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    May 29, 2019 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ Your combative reaction to the answers probably doesn’t help either... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    May 29, 2019 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster "combat reaction" ? Is it perceived as if I'm trying to combat ? I was simply trying to respond to a comment, which by the way didn't not provide any context at all. Do people in here down vote questions for such reasons ? Should I have just thanked them instead of pointing out the problems in their comment ? $\endgroup$
    – Our
    May 29, 2019 at 12:49
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    $\begingroup$ Hmmmm.... I think you just proved my point. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    May 29, 2019 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Sometimes (which looks more like as if most of the time) I don't understand academia... $\endgroup$
    – Our
    May 29, 2019 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ Look, your were told, accurately, that Avagodro's number is, well, just a number. And indeed, it is just a number (admittedly a special one!) and that information really should not have provoked the number and tone of comments that you appended. Continuing to argue the point was, well, pointless at best. Yes, you were combative by, in essence, repeatedly denying the straightforward answer. While the communication being text-only might be one factor, if you did this in a face-to-face discussion the other people would not be impressed. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    May 29, 2019 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Well, people in a room is also a number, but it depends on which room are you considering, so in that sense "it is a numbers" is not an answer to my question. The question is why it is inpdependent of the substance that we are measuring. $\endgroup$
    – Our
    May 29, 2019 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster As if everyone just reads the title and then write a response without reading the question, even which does not explains the absurdity of the given answers. $\endgroup$
    – Our
    May 29, 2019 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ You appear not to have gotten my point. I'm done trying to help you here. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    May 29, 2019 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


As I keep telling everyone everywhere, the real reason someone, or a group of people, downvoted your post is something only they can confirm. We can only say why a post like yours might or might not get downvoted. That said, here are my two cents.

Sub-optimal formatting

Your question's first revision isn't the worst I've seen, but you (1) forgot to enclose some of the expressions in Mathjax's dollar sign, (2) rarely made use of any formatting (except italicizing one word), and (3) due to not separating quotes from your original words, introduced paragraphing that's a bit awkward.

These are rarely problems in themselves, but they send a signal of sloppiness. And if people get the impression you did not invest time in formulating your question, they'd think you're not respecting their time they would spend answering and become more inclined to downvote.

Lack of clarity

You say

However, with these definitions, I cannot understand why $N_{\mathrm{A}}$ should be independent of substance.

but you don't say why. An answerer would have little choice other than to repeat the definition, as is illustrated in Ivan's comment under your question, and even matt_black's great answer says "The confusion, I suspect, . . . ".

Andselisk also commented under this very meta post that he did not vote at all because your question isn't all that clear for a variety of reasons, but lack of clarity is a very valid reason to downvote or close vote if needed.


There could even be other semi-valid reasons for downvoting. A lengthy debate, under the answer, on a topic that seems rudimentary to a lot of people would probably not garner lots of positive emotions. Or that you choose an outdated book with outdated concepts chemists are usually weary of doesn't make them too happy about the question either. Anyway, the current vote count is +1/-3, so that is only 1 rep lost. It's not such a drastic example.

By the way, by asking this meta post, you have incurred the meta effect and should expect more negative or positive voting activity on that post.

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    $\begingroup$ Worst ellipsis. Ever. ಠ…ಠ $\endgroup$ May 29, 2019 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Mart as much as I'd like to have a religious fight over ellipsisses . . . ellipses . . . ellipsae, both variants are acceptable, except it's not supposed to be that spacious but I'm too lazy to find one with the correct spacing. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    May 29, 2019 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ It's ellipsipodi. XD $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2019 at 5:46

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