Isaac: Solving Physics Problems Stated in English

Problem 8

This is a demonstration of the Isaac program, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program that solves rigid body statics problems stated in English.

There are 37 problems that are predefined. You can solve one of these problems by entering the problem number.

You can also attempt to solve a new problem. Enter the text of the new problem, one sentence per line, in the input area; then select the "Try New Problem" command. However, no serious attempt has been made to make Isaac robust for new problems, so not all new problems will work. An example of an underspecified new problem is: What force is required to lift one end of a pole?

When the demo is started, a graphics window and an input window with a command menu are created. (You may have to move one of the windows in order to see them both.) Click the appropriate menu items to run the demo.

Representations of Knowledge in a Program for Solving Physics Problems,'' Proc. 5th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-77), Cambridge, MA, August 1977, pp. 286-291.


  1. You must be logged in to a host running X windows.
  2. Type xhost + (exactly as shown at left) in a window on that host to allow this server to write to your display.
  3. Enter your X display name here if needed; you may need to change what is shown in the box to your X display name. For example,
  4. Click to start the demo. Remember to move the top window so you can see the other window.
Gordon S. Novak Jr.