A German 16-year old has become a worldwide phenomenon and the first person who managed to solve a mathematical problem that Sir Isaac Newton posed more than 300 years ago. Shouryya Ray worked on how to calculate the precise path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance. The Indian-borne teen reposted to have solved the problem while working on a school project. German society awarded the young man by giving him a prize for contribution to the science and labeled him as a genius. Considering he solved the math problem while doing a school project his research is put down to curiosity and student’s naivety.
His family moved to Germany when he was 12 years old. The boy’s father got a job as an engineer at a technical college and he that his father had a significant influence on his, showing him love towards math and taught this calculus when he was six years old. Even Mr. Ray’s father told the media that his son’s mathematical powers quickly surpassed his own, showing considerable knowledge and progress, which is rare for such a young boy. The father said that Ray never discussed the project with him and that he used math equations that are even beyond his reach.
Newton posed this problem 300 years ago, which relates to movement of projectiles through the air. Before Mr. Ray’s solution, mathematicians and scientist were able to offer an only partial answer, but no one managed to solve the problem in full. That’s why the public became shocked when a young man offered a solution. If that wasn’t enough, Mr. Ray also managed to solve an additional problem which involves the collision of a body with a wall, that was posed in the 19th century. Experts and scientists say that these solutions will contribute to better precision in areas as ballistics.
On the other hand, a university professor Jürgen Voigt states that Newton never posed a problem. He said that the movement of the body or object under the influence of gravity and friction in the air is managed by a specific differential equation. Moreover, the theory of average differential equations yields that equation can be solved and that solution is presented in particular form. When he says average equation, he thinks that textbooks contain this approach and it is taught in third-year courses at the university. He and his coworkers published a four-page report where they tried to contextualize Ray’s work. Voigt emphasized that Ray deserved a prize for his work and that his solution should be appreciated, considering it’s coming from a 16-year old boy. We are left to see, what kind of discoveries will Ray make in the future.