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Teen solves centuries-old math problem

May 23, 2012 at 1:20 PM

DRESDEN, Germany, May 23 (UPI) -- A 16-year-old in Germany who solved a centuries-old math problem credited his accomplishment to "schoolboy naivety."

Shouryya Ray, whose family moved from India to Dresden when he was 12, solved a pair of fundamental particle dynamics problems posed by Isaac Newton more than 350 years ago to make it possible to calculate the flight path of a ball and predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall, The Local.de reported Wednesday.

Ray said he learned about the problems when his school, which specializes in science, sent his 11th grade class to the Technical University in Dresden.

The teenager said his "schoolboy naivety" would not allow him to accept that the problems couldn't be solved.

"I asked myself: why can't it work?" he told the Die Welt newspaper.

Ray said he is currently deciding whether to study math or physics when he moves on to college.

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