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Autistic boy,12, with higher IQ than Einstein develops his own theory of relativity

 
 
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2011 09:14 pm
I am not well enough educated to evaluate this story, so I am counting on a2k to help me out. - edgarblythe

A 12-year-old child prodigy has astounded university professors after grappling with some of the most advanced concepts in mathematics.
Jacob Barnett has an IQ of 170 - higher than Albert Einstein - and is now so far advanced in his Indiana university studies that professors are lining him up for a PHD research role.

The boy wonder, who taught himself calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry in a week, is now tutoring fellow college classmates after hours.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1369595/Jacob-Barnett-12-higher-IQ-Einstein-develops-theory-relativity.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 3,175 • Replies: 16
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rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 04:59 am
@edgarblythe,
There's a lot of information on the kid but not anything on his "theory" so there's not much to evaluate at the moment. Are there any links to his actual theories?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 05:27 am
I suspect, Roswell, that that's just some journalistic BS designed to make the story "sexy." It's interesting enough on it's own, but the press have a strong inclination to "man bites dog" stories.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 07:05 am
http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboysmom#p/a/u/2/lNypTxvOxxQ
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 08:07 am
@edgarblythe,
Is that the kid you were refering to in your initial post edgar?

he doent appear to fit the "autistic" syndrome.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 08:12 am
@dadpad,
Evidently it's mild Asperger's.

I think he's definitely smart. Not sure whether his theories are going to go anywhere, though. (There are a lot of people like him in science depts. these days. My husband's a scientist and we recently tallied up people we know who have diagnosed Asperger's or we just think are likely to have it -- it was a pretty big number. Even when we kept it to just the actual diagnosed people.)

rosborne, more details here:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011103200369
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 08:23 am
@sozobe,
As with ADHD I think the temptation for doctors to lable people is sometimes taken a little too far.
It would be a big leap for me to say this kid does not have mild asbergers syndrome.
Maybe he's just a really really smart kid.

what is really exciting is that a kids imagination is far less limited than an adult. He can imagine something then calculate if its possible.

Can duck farts power a subspace hyper drive?

0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 10:29 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Still not much detail, but then again, he's only 13, so we can give him a break Wink
Quote:
Thinking big is what he does

Meanwhile, Jake is moving on to his next challenge: proving that the big-bang theory, the event some think led to the formation of the universe, is, well, wrong.

Wrong?

He explains.

"There are two different types of when stars end. When the little stars die, it's just like a small poof. They just turn into a planetary nebula. But the big ones, above 1.4 solar masses, blow up in one giant explosion, a supernova," Jake said. "What it does, is, in larger stars there is a larger mass, and it can fuse higher elements because it's more dense."

OK . . . trying to follow you.

"So you get all the elements, all the different materials, from those bigger stars. The little stars, they just make hydrogen and helium, and when they blow up, all the carbon that remains in them is just in the white dwarf; it never really comes off.

"So, um, in the big-bang theory, what they do is, there is this big explosion and there is all this temperature going off and the temperature decreases really rapidly because it's really big. The other day I calculated, they have this period where they suppose the hydrogen and helium were created, and, um, I don't care about the hydrogen and helium, but I thought, wouldn't there have to be some sort of carbon?"

He could go on and on.

And he did.

"Otherwise, the carbon would have to be coming out of the stars and hence the Earth, made mostly of carbon, we wouldn't be here. So I calculated, the time it would take to create 2 percent of the carbon in the universe, it would actually have to be several micro-seconds. Or a couple of nano-seconds, or something like that. An extremely small period of time. Like faster than a snap. That isn't gonna happen."

"Because of that," he continued, "that means that the world would have never been created because none of the carbon would have been given 7 billion years to fuse together. We'd have to be 21 billion years old . . . and that would just screw everything up."

So, we had to ask.

If not the big bang, then how did the universe come about?

"I'm still working on that," he said. "I have an idea, but . . . I'm still working out the details."

This little digression seems to indicate that he is unsatisfied with the relationship between carbon production and some basic assumptions of the BB and stellar evolution. But this is a long way from having a new theory. At this point there isn't even any solid evidence that there is a discrepancy between existing theory and data, and there are lots of details still unresolved in super novae and black hole activity. I'm sure he's a very smart kid, but many of these young geniuses progress rapidly through the known information and then come to a halt right where most of the other physicists are. We'll have to give him a bit more time.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 10:49 am
@rosborne979,
That's about my take, too.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 12:06 pm
@edgarblythe,
There is a guy with a "higher IQ than Einstein" in the office where I work. He is a finance clerk.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 01:30 pm
@edgarblythe,
A 12-year-old boy who's been taking advanced astrophysics classes at Indiana University since he was eight is trying to pick up where Einstein left off.

Jacob Barnett has an IQ of 170, ten points higher than Einstein's. He is also mildly autistic, though the developmental disorder did not prevent him from teaching himself algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus in a week. According to the Daily Mail Reporter, the savant hopes to present his own "expanded version" of Einstein's relativity theory.

After his parents sent a video of his work to Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, a world-famous professor and astrophysics expert verified Barnett's calculations, saying they address "several of the toughest problems in…theoretical physics." The professor added, "Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize."

Barnett soon plans to leave behind coursework altogether in order to accept a paid research position in advanced mathematics.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 01:39 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
For 12-year old astrophysics prodigy, the sky’s the limit
By Zachary Roth

In some ways, Jacob Barnett is just like any other 12-year-old kid. He plays Guitar Hero, shoots hoops with his friends, and has a platonic girlfriend.

But in other ways, he's a little different. Jake, who has an IQ of 170, began solving 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzles at the age of 3, not long after he'd been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism. A few years later, he taught himself calculus, algebra, and geometry in two weeks. By 8, he had left high school, and is currently taking college-level advanced astrophysics classes—while tutoring his older classmates. And he's being recruited for a paid researcher job by Indiana University.

Now, he's at work on a theory that challenges the Big Bang—the prevailing explanation among scientists for how the universe came about. It's not clear how developed it is, but experts say he's asking the right questions.

"The theory that he's working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics," Scott Tremaine of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies—where Einstein (pictured) himself worked—wrote in an email to Jake's family. "Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize."

It's not clear where Jake got his gifts from. "Whenever I try talking about math with anyone in my family," he told the Indianapolis Star, "they just stare blankly."

But his parents encouraged his interests from the start. Once, they took him to the planetarium at Butler University. "We were in the crowd, just sitting, listening to this guy ask the crowd if anyone knew why the moons going around Mars were potato-shaped and not round," Jake's mother, Kristine Barnett, told the Star. "Jacob raised his hand and said, 'Excuse me, but what are the sizes of the moons around Mars?' "

After the lecturer answered, said Kristine, "Jacob looked at him and said the gravity of the planet ... is so large that (the moon's) gravity would not be able to pull it into a round shape."

"That entire building ... everyone was just looking at him, like, 'Who is this 3-year-old?'"

Here you can watch Jake question some of the key elements of Albert Einstein's theories on quantum physics:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011103200369
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 01:43 pm
@rosborne979,
I call hype on this. Especially since it was featured in the "Daily Mail". He's "asking the right questions". Nobody is saying, either at Princeton or anywhere else, that he is providing any answers.

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 02:28 pm
bookmark
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Mar, 2011 05:33 pm
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

There is a guy with a "higher IQ than Einstein" in the office where I work. He is a finance clerk.


Hell, I have a higher IQ than Ienstien.
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Mar, 2011 09:25 am
@edgarblythe,
I have to point out the fact that Einstein had never taken an IQ testing in his life. Higher than Einstein? That's suspicious. Besides, Savant's IQ is 228, beyond the reach of Albert. And what has she done? Only trifles.

The netzens have asked the boy to solve the biggest problem of all: the meaning of life. Hmm, well asked. The problem, however, needs to be dealt with by one's own. No one can help but you yourself.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Mar, 2011 04:02 am
@oristarA,
IQ is pretty much an over-rated quality. Quantifying IQ is also hard to do. Stanford-Binet IQ test has been discredited by many as inaccurate and culturally biased. Einstein's IQ was guess-timated and vos Savant's IQ of 228 was a fudged guess, as well.

Granted, I'd rather have a high-IQ person solving a problem; however, there's not neccesarily a correlation with accomplishment. Marilyn vos Savant is quite accomplished as an author and playwright. I hear she treats her mother well, too.
0 Replies
 
 

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