Youngest astrophysics researcher: Jacob Barnett sets world record (Video)
WESTFIELD, Ind., USA -- Jacob Barnett, 12, 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; he is also developing his own theory on how the universe came into being , setting the world record for the Youngest astrophysics researcher. Photo: Jacob Barnett, The World's Youngest Astrophysics researcher, is so far ahead of his age group he is now leaving university he is developing his own theory on how the universe came into being . (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the youngest person to have research published was set by Emily Rosa, of Loveland, Colorado, USA, at age 11.
Guinness World Records also recognized the youngest licensed stockbroker: Jason A. Earle of Princeton, New Jersey, USA who passed the stockbroker exam aged 17 years and 206 days.
Jake has embarked on his most ambitious project yet - his own 'expanded version of Einstein's theory of relativity'.
But for his mother Kristine Barnett, 36, and the rest of the family, maths remains a tricky subject. Speaking to the paper, Mrs Barnett said: 'I flunked math. I know this did not come from me.'
His mother, not sure if her child was talking nonsense or genius, sent a video of his theory to the renowned Institute for Advanced Study near Princeton University.
According to the Indiana Star, Institute astrophysics professor Scott Tremaine -himself a world renowned expert - confirmed the authenticity of Jake's theory.
In an email to the family, Tremaine wrote: 'I'm impressed by his interest in physics and the amount that he has learned so far. The theory that he's working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics.Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.'
Jake was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, a mild form of autism, from an early age.
His parents were worried when he didn't talk until the age of two, suspecting he was educationally abnormal.
It was only as he began to grow up that they realised just how special his gift was.
He would fill up note pads of paper with drawings of complex geometrical shapes and calculations, before picking up felt tip pens and writing equations on windows.
By the age of three he was solving 5,000-piece puzzles and he even studied a state road map, reciting every highway and license plate prefix from memory.
By the time he reached the fifth grade, Jake had become bored with school, prompting the Barnetts to have him seen by a child psychologist, who assessed him as a math genius (based on his IQ scores) and recommended they pull him out of school and put him in a college-level class.
By the age of eight he had left high school and was attending Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis advanced astrophysics classes.
The next step, according to his professor John Ross, is for Jake to leave class altogether and take up a paid research role.