When his parents first enrolled Jacob Barnett in school they were told to forget it and that their son would never be able to learn anything in school. Naturally concerned they took him to a doctor where they were told that he has a form of autism called Aspergers that he would be able to learn simple tasks such as how to tie his own shoes.
They discovered that Jacob has a tremendous memory that allowed him to attend university classes after learning the entire high school math curriculum in two weeks. When Jake was 11 years old, her mother made a video of him showing his remarkable skills.
In the movie, the boy eats a sandwich sitting in the kitchen, wearing a simple red sweatshirt and a baseball cap like an ordinary guy. But then he begins to explain why Einstein’s theory does not convince him at all.
The video of 1 minute and 47 seconds ended up on YouTube and was noticed by Scott Tremaine, a very famous and well known professor at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton Universityin New Jersey, where they studied and taught physicists such as Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, and Kurt Gödel.
“I am very impressed by the interest in your son’s physics and by the amount of knowledge he has so far assimilated. The theory on which Jake is working involves some of the most difficult problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics. Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize.”
Jacob is already graduating in Astrophysics and is about to complete the PhD in Quantum Physics. He is currently a researcher at Purdue University in Indianapolis and has several scientific publications in his curriculum. Its IQ is 170 (higher than Albert Einstein’s estimated IQ).
Often ironically, wearing flip-flop sandals: “The doctors said that I would not be able to do a thing and he guessed it. I cannot tie my shoe, that’s why I’m in slippers today”.
Now the young Barnett is devoting himself to a very ambitious project, an expanded version of the Theory of Relativity. When Einstein published his first studio, he was 26 and Jake feels he has enough time to succeed in his intent:
“I’m still working, I have an idea to prove it unfounded, but I still have to define the details of the path to follow”.
I see a need to redefine how we measure and categorize mental abilities.
Can someone of average intellectual ability accurately assess someone who is so starkly different? He's differently skilled and works in ways we have yet to understand.