The schoolboy, from Dresden, Germany, solved two fundamental particle dynamics theories which physicists have previously been able to calculate only by using powerful computers. His solutions mean that scientists can now calculate the flight path of a thrown ball and then predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall.
Shouryya only came across the problems during a school trip to Dresden University where professors claimed they were uncrackable.'I just asked myself, 'Why not?',' explained Shouryya.
'I think it was just schoolboy naivety. I didn't believe there couldn't be a solution,' he added. Modest Shouryya began solving complicated equations as a six year old but says he's no genius.
'There are other things at school I wish I was better at - football for one,' he said.
For years Shouryya has enjoyed what he calls 'intrinsic beauty' of maths.When he was young, his father, an engineer, began testing his brain by setting him arithmetic problems.After arriving from Calcutta four years ago without knowing any German, Shouryya is now fluent in the language.
His intelligence was quickly noted in class and he was pushed up two years in school - he is currently sitting his exams early.Modestly Shouryya has pointed out he has weak points as a mathematician, and says he is not as competent in sport.Shouryya Ray was born in and spend his first 12 years in Kolkatta. His father Subhashis taught him calculus at age 6, and the family moved to Germany when he was 12. He has now learnt German and taken his Matura the German high school leaving exams 2 years ahead of his age.
Ray at age 16 solved two fundamental particle dynamics theories which physicists have previously been able to calculate only by using computer simulation.
The first problem was how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance, and the second was the prediction of how it will hit and bounce off a wall.The solutions are in his paper "Analytische Lösung von zwei ungelösten fundamentalen Partikeldynamikproblemen".
Ray only came across the problems during a school trip to Dresden University where they were shown as examples of problems that could only be approximated through computer simulation.The trajectory of a particle under gravity and subject to air resistance was set by Sir Isaac Newton.
The trajectory of a particle rebounding off a wall solved two problems. The first linear damping was set by Stokes in 1850 and the second regarding collisions and linear damping was set by Hertz in 1858.