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350 year old Newton puzzle solved by schoolkid.

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Northman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 May 2012 at 13:03
Schoolboy 'genius' solves puzzles posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years.
 
 
 


Edited by Northman - 29 May 2012 at 13:03
   
   If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.    (Albert Einstein)
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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 16:06
I don't see what the fuss is about here, but then I didn't see by maths either. It's always been possible to calculate the path of a thrown ball, given enough of the determining factors, including things like air humidity. Think of the accuracy achievable in unmanned lunar missions. 

If he's made any fundamental difference here it must be to do with determining those outside factors. But that's physics, not mathematics.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 23:07
"Mathematically illiterate journalists make hyperbole over bright kid" should have been the title. He implicitly solved a differential equation, which is highly impressive for a 16-year old, but certainly nothing that has "puzzled" scientists for 300 years (and there is no physics involved from the kid's side). It is certainly university-student-level maths, but that no one has bothered to publish a solution doesn't mean you need a genius to solve it. Very well done by the young mathematician, but the journalists should get their license to write revoked.
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