An Indian-born teenager from Germany has solved a maths riddle – first posed by Sir Isaac Newton – that has puzzled mathematicians for 300 years.
German media has hailed Shouryya Ray, 16, as a genius; but he says the breakthrough was simply thanks to "curiosity and schoolboy naivety."
The riddle, which has baffled maths buffs for three centuries, relates to the ability to perfectly predict the path of a projectile flying through the air.
Thanks to Shouryya, we can now predict a projectile's path, even taking into account the effects of gravity and air resistance.
While he was at it, Shouryya also knocked off a 19th century conundrum related to the impact of a body hitting a wall.
Until now, our best and brightest have only been able to come up with partial solutions to both of these problems.
Shouryya's father is an engineer who began to teach his son calculus at age six, which helped to instill a curious nature in the teenager who says he's always looking for answers.
"When it was explained to us that the problems had no solutions, I thought to myself: well, there’s no harm in trying," he told local media.But don't worry about Shourrya getting a big head; he only managed second place at the national competition in which he unveiled his breakthrough solution.
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