Indian-born German 16 year old, Shouryya Ray, worked out how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance. Shouryya won a research award for his efforts and has been labeled a genius by the German media. “When it was explained to us that the problems had no solutions, I thought to myself, ‘well, there’s no harm in trying,'” Shouryya said.

ShouryyaRay

Shouryya’s family moved to Germany when he was only 12 after his engineer father got a job at a technical college. He said his father instilled in him a “hunger for mathematics” and taught him calculus at the age of six. Shouryya’s father, Subhashis, said his son’s mathematical prowess quickly outstripped his own considerable knowledge. “He never discussed his project with me before it was finished and the mathematics he used are far beyond my reach,” he said.

Sir Isaac Newton

Newton posed the problem, relating to the movement of projectiles through the air, in the 17th century. Mathematicians had only been able to offer partial solutions till now. If that wasn’t enough of an achievement, Shouryya has also solved a second problem, dealing with the collision of a body with a wall, that was posed in the 19th century.

Shouryya is speculated to be the next Newton by the German media.