ChatGPT does Physics - Sixty Symbols

Sixty Symbols
23 Jan 202316:42

TLDRThe video script discusses the capabilities of Chat GPT in the context of physics, particularly its ability to generate code and answer physics questions. It explores Chat GPT's performance on various physics problems, from basic GCSE level to more advanced quantum mechanics concepts. The script highlights Chat GPT's strengths in language processing and coding but also points out its shortcomings in understanding fundamental physics concepts, such as simple harmonic motion and the Schrodinger equation. The experiment with Chat GPT writing a Python program for quantum mechanics demonstrates its impressive coding skills but also its conceptual misunderstandings in physics.


  • 🧠 The script discusses the capabilities of Chat GPT in handling physics questions and its potential as an educational tool.
  • 🔍 It highlights the importance of checking the reasoning and accuracy of answers provided by AI, as they may contain errors.
  • 🏫 The video includes an experiment where Chat GPT is tasked with generating a mission statement for the University of Nottingham, showing the AI's ability to produce generic text.
  • 🔋 An example GCSE physics question about recharging an electric car battery is used to test Chat GPT's mathematical reasoning, revealing a mistake in calculation.
  • 🌐 The script points out the limitations of Chat GPT in interpreting diagrams, which is crucial for physics problem-solving.
  • 🌡️ When asked about environmental effects of fossil fuels, Chat GPT correctly identifies air pollution as a major issue, demonstrating its knowledge on environmental topics.
  • 📚 The video moves on to higher-level physics questions, such as those from AP level exams, to further test Chat GPT's understanding of physics concepts.
  • 📉 Chat GPT struggles with a conceptual question about simple harmonic motion, showing incorrect understanding of the physics involved.
  • 🚫 In a quantum mechanics question, Chat GPT fails to correctly explain the time-independent Schrödinger equation, indicating a gap in its knowledge of quantum states.
  • 💻 When given a complex task to write a Python program for plotting probability densities in quantum mechanics, Chat GPT shows strong coding skills but makes a conceptual error in understanding the physical problem.
  • 🤔 The script concludes with a reflection on the limitations of AI in understanding and teaching complex scientific concepts, emphasizing the importance of human oversight and correction.

Q & A

  • What was the initial experiment conducted with Chat GPT in the script?

    -The initial experiment involved an undergraduate student typing a coursework question about writing a piece of Python code into Chat GPT and observing the code it produced.

  • What is the significance of Chat GPT's ability to generate a mission statement for the University of Nottingham?

    -The significance lies in demonstrating Chat GPT's capability to produce text that is generic and interchangeable with similar content from other institutions, highlighting its language generation skills.

  • How did Chat GPT perform on the GCSE physics question about recharging an electric car battery?

    -Chat GPT provided the correct reasoning for calculating the time taken to recharge the battery but made a numerical error, suggesting a factor of ten mistake in the final answer.

  • What was the environmental effect of using fossil fuels for electricity generation mentioned in the script?

    -The script mentioned air pollution as a main environmental effect, including the release of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter.

  • What is the concept of simple harmonic motion and why is it important in physics?

    -Simple harmonic motion is a type of periodic motion where the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement and in the opposite direction. It is fundamental in various areas of physics, including quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.

  • Why did Chat GPT's response to the AP level physics question about simple harmonic motion receive criticism?

    -Chat GPT's response was criticized because it provided the correct answer but for the wrong reasons, showing a misunderstanding of the dynamics of simple harmonic motion.

  • What is the Schrodinger equation mentioned in the script, and what does it represent?

    -The Schrodinger equation (H y = E y) represents the state of a quantum system, where 'H' is the Hamiltonian operator, 'y' is the quantum state, and 'E' is the energy eigenvalue.

  • Why did Chat GPT's explanation of the Schrodinger equation in the script receive zero marks?

    -Chat GPT's explanation was incorrect because it suggested the Hamiltonian operator acting on any quantum state would return the same state and its associated energy eigenvalue, which is only true for stationary states, not any quantum state.

  • What was the task given to Chat GPT regarding the Python program for plotting probability density in quantum mechanics?

    -The task was to write a Python program to plot the probability density for the N=1 and N=100 eigenstates of the Hamiltonian for an infinite potential well, in both position and momentum representation.

  • What mistake did Chat GPT make in its Python code for the quantum mechanics coursework question?

    -Chat GPT made the mistake of assuming that the sine functions representing the eigenstates continue outside the well, which is incorrect and would not give the right momentum representation.

  • What is the overall impression of Chat GPT's performance in the script?

    -Chat GPT demonstrated impressive language and coding skills but showed a lack of understanding in some physics concepts, highlighting the need for accurate and comprehensive knowledge in specific domains.



🤖 Chat GPT's Physics Proficiency Test

The speaker discusses the capabilities of Chat GPT, a language model, in handling physics problems. They recount an incident where a student used Chat GPT to generate Python code for a coursework question. The speaker then tests Chat GPT's ability to answer physics questions, starting with a basic pressure control question and moving on to a GCSE-level problem about recharging an electric car battery. Chat GPT provides correct reasoning but makes a calculation error, underlining the importance of checking answers in physics. The speaker also explores Chat GPT's ability to generate a mission statement and discusses the interchangeable nature of such statements across universities.


🔬 Evaluating Chat GPT's Environmental Impact Knowledge

The speaker continues to evaluate Chat GPT's performance by asking it to explain the environmental effects of generating electricity using fossil fuels versus nuclear fusion. Chat GPT correctly identifies air pollution as a significant environmental impact of fossil fuel usage, detailing the release of pollutants and their effects on human health and air quality. The speaker awards Chat GPT two marks out of two for this answer, indicating a satisfactory performance on understanding environmental impacts.


📚 Chat GPT's Performance on Advanced Physics Concepts

The evaluation of Chat GPT's capabilities advances to higher-level physics questions, specifically simple harmonic motion. Despite providing an incorrect explanation for the dynamics of simple harmonic motion, Chat GPT arrives at the correct maximum kinetic energy value but for the wrong reasons. The speaker expresses concern over the misunderstanding of fundamental physics concepts, emphasizing the importance of correct reasoning in physics education. The evaluation also touches on quantum mechanics, where Chat GPT fails to correctly explain the action of the Hamiltonian operator on quantum states, resulting in a zero mark for that question.


💻 Chat GPT's Coding and Quantum Mechanics Challenge

The speaker presents Chat GPT with a complex task involving quantum mechanics and coding. The task requires writing a Python program to plot the probability density for eigenstates of the Hamiltonian for an infinite potential well, both in position and momentum representation. Chat GPT demonstrates a strong coding ability, structuring the code to calculate and plot the required probability densities. However, it makes a conceptual mistake by not accounting for the boundary conditions of the infinite potential well, which leads to an incorrect momentum representation. The speaker notes that while Chat GPT shows promise in coding, it lacks a deep understanding of the physics involved, mirroring a common mistake made by students.

🚫 The Limits of Chat GPT's Scientific Understanding

In the final part of the script, the speaker reflects on the limitations of Chat GPT's understanding of science, particularly physics. They use a humorous anecdote about influencing subatomic particles by clicking fingers to illustrate the absurdity of expecting scientific models to account for everything. The speaker asserts that while science may not know everything, it has established robust knowledge in certain areas, and it's important to recognize the difference between what is known and what is speculative.



💡Chat GPT

Chat GPT is an advanced AI language model capable of generating human-like text based on the input it receives. In the context of the video, it is used to explore the AI's ability to handle physics-related questions and tasks, demonstrating its capacity to produce output for a variety of inquiries, including generating Python code and explaining physics concepts.


Physics is a branch of science that studies matter, energy, and the fundamental forces of the universe. The video discusses the AI's ability to process and provide answers to physics questions, highlighting the importance of correct reasoning and accurate answers in the field.

💡Quantum World

Quantum World refers to the module taught by the speaker, which likely covers quantum mechanics and quantum physics. The video script mentions an undergraduate student's interaction with Chat GPT in the context of this module, indicating the relevance of quantum concepts in assessing the AI's capabilities.

💡Python Code

Python is a widely-used programming language. In the script, the AI's ability to generate Python code is tested as part of a coursework question, demonstrating the AI's potential to assist in programming and computational tasks within the realm of physics.

💡Mission Statement

A mission statement is a declaration that outlines an organization's core purpose and goals. The video transcript includes an example of generating a generic mission statement for the University of Nottingham, illustrating the AI's ability to produce contextually relevant text.


GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is an important qualification in the UK education system. The video script uses GCSE-level physics questions to test the AI's understanding of basic physics concepts and its ability to provide correct answers.

💡Simple Harmonic Motion

Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) is a type of periodic motion where the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement. The video discusses the AI's response to a question about SHM, revealing its understanding of this fundamental concept in physics.

💡Hamiltonian Operator

In quantum mechanics, the Hamiltonian operator is used to describe the total energy of a system. The video script includes a question about the Hamiltonian operator acting on quantum states, testing the AI's grasp of quantum mechanics principles.

💡Schrodinger Equation

The Schrodinger equation is a fundamental equation in quantum mechanics that describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes over time. The video uses the equation to evaluate the AI's understanding of quantum state dynamics.

💡Probability Density

In quantum mechanics, probability density refers to the likelihood of finding a particle in a particular location or state. The video script discusses the AI's attempt to write a program to plot the probability density for eigenstates of the Hamiltonian, showcasing its ability to handle complex quantum concepts.

💡Infinite Potential Well

An Infinite Potential Well, also known as a particle in a box model, is a theoretical model in quantum mechanics where a particle is confined within an area with infinitely high potential walls. The video script mentions this model in the context of a coursework question, indicating its importance in understanding quantum states.


Chat GPT's ability to generate Python code for a physics coursework question is demonstrated.

The importance of evaluating Chat GPT's output for both correctness and reasoning in physics.

Chat GPT produces a generic university mission statement, highlighting its text generation capabilities.

The potential of Chat GPT to interpret diagrams in physics, which is currently a limitation.

Chat GPT correctly reasons but makes a numerical error in calculating recharge time for an electric car battery.

The significance of checking numerical answers for plausibility in physics calculations.

Chat GPT's response to an environmental effects question about fossil fuels and nuclear fusion.

The ethical considerations and misinformation restrictions affecting Chat GPT's responses.

Chat GPT's incorrect explanation of simple harmonic motion, demonstrating a misunderstanding of fundamental physics concepts.

The importance of conceptual understanding in physics, as opposed to just getting the right answer.

Chat GPT's attempt to answer a quantum mechanics question, showing a lack of understanding of the Schrödinger equation.

The necessity for Chat GPT to revisit fundamental quantum mechanics knowledge.

Chat GPT's impressive coding capabilities in generating a Python program for a quantum mechanics problem.

The conceptual mistake Chat GPT makes in assuming sine functions continue outside the well in a particle in a box problem.

The need for a balance between coding proficiency and physics understanding in problem-solving.

The humorous and philosophical closing remark on the limitations of science and the capabilities of Chat GPT.