# Teen solves mathematical riddle posed by Sir Isaac Newton

Big Chief
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**32,995**Senior Member
OK, what interested me is they say this will improve ballistics knowledge? :guns:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/27/german-teen-solves-300-year-old-mathematical-riddle-posed-by-sir-isaac-newton/?test=latestnews

"DRESDEN, Germany – A German 16-year-old has become the first person to solve a mathematical problem posed by Sir Isaac Newton more than 300 years ago.

Shouryya Ray worked out how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

The Indian-born teen said he solved the problem that had stumped mathematicians for centuries while working on a school project.

Ray won a research award for his efforts and has been labeled a genius by the German media, but he put it down to "curiosity and schoolboy naivety."

"When it was explained to us that the problems had no solutions, I thought to myself, 'well, there's no harm in trying,'" he said.

Ray's family moved to Germany when he was 12 after his engineer father got a job at a technical college. He said his father instilled in him a "hunger for mathematics" and taught him calculus at the age of six.

Ray's father, Subhashis, said his son's mathematical prowess quickly outstripped his own considerable knowledge.

"He never discussed his project with me before it was finished and the mathematics he used are far beyond my reach," he said.

Despite not speaking a word of German when he arrived, Ray will this week sit Germany's high school leaving exams, two years ahead of his peers.

Newton posed the problem, relating to the movement of projectiles through the air, in the 17th century. Mathematicians had only been able to offer partial solutions until now.

If that wasn't enough of an achievement, Ray has also solved a second problem, dealing with the collision of a body with a wall, that was posed in the 19th century.

Both problems Ray resolved are from the field of dynamics and his solutions are expected to contribute to greater precision in areas such as ballistics."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/27/german-teen-solves-300-year-old-mathematical-riddle-posed-by-sir-isaac-newton/?test=latestnews#ixzz1w4YEg7lV

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/27/german-teen-solves-300-year-old-mathematical-riddle-posed-by-sir-isaac-newton/?test=latestnews

"DRESDEN, Germany – A German 16-year-old has become the first person to solve a mathematical problem posed by Sir Isaac Newton more than 300 years ago.

Shouryya Ray worked out how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

The Indian-born teen said he solved the problem that had stumped mathematicians for centuries while working on a school project.

Ray won a research award for his efforts and has been labeled a genius by the German media, but he put it down to "curiosity and schoolboy naivety."

"When it was explained to us that the problems had no solutions, I thought to myself, 'well, there's no harm in trying,'" he said.

Ray's family moved to Germany when he was 12 after his engineer father got a job at a technical college. He said his father instilled in him a "hunger for mathematics" and taught him calculus at the age of six.

Ray's father, Subhashis, said his son's mathematical prowess quickly outstripped his own considerable knowledge.

"He never discussed his project with me before it was finished and the mathematics he used are far beyond my reach," he said.

Despite not speaking a word of German when he arrived, Ray will this week sit Germany's high school leaving exams, two years ahead of his peers.

Newton posed the problem, relating to the movement of projectiles through the air, in the 17th century. Mathematicians had only been able to offer partial solutions until now.

If that wasn't enough of an achievement, Ray has also solved a second problem, dealing with the collision of a body with a wall, that was posed in the 19th century.

Both problems Ray resolved are from the field of dynamics and his solutions are expected to contribute to greater precision in areas such as ballistics."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/27/german-teen-solves-300-year-old-mathematical-riddle-posed-by-sir-isaac-newton/?test=latestnews#ixzz1w4YEg7lV

It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions

Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall

I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall

I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

## Replies

32,995Senior MemberAnyone know what this riddle is?

Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall

I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

10,664Senior MemberThe air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

5,463Senior Member4,739Senior MemberHow easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

3,947Senior Member9,327Senior Memberhttp://bestofcalvinandhobbes.com/2012/05/calvin-and-hobbes-become-zombies-when-in-rome/

. . .and instead been given problems like this:

"An elk is running 15mph with a 20mph tailwind. You are firing a .30 caliber 180 grain Nosler Partition at 2800fps from 400 yards away. . ."

. . .I might have turned into someone with at least an interest in mathematics to temper my total lack of natural ability. Since I never was able to give a damn about what time Bob's train from Chicago crossed paths with Phil's train from New York, my brain remains permanently crippled by numeric polio.

Hopefully, the kid's findings are easily converted to an i-phone ap. . .then I might actually buy one of the newfangled things.

WWJMBD?"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee

10,664Senior MemberThis has been my year so far.....

10,923Senior MemberI don't think it's a riddle per se, just a complex mathematical problem involving simultaneous nonlinear equations. These can be tricky even if you enact the more recent use of parabolic expressions for variables (some Polish math/physics dude won the Nobel for that one).

If you've got one non-linear set, it's not hard to calculate. For example, if you ignore wind resistance you can calculate bullet flight and arc, just allowing for gravity. That arc is parabolic and to do it precisely requires calculus. I don't mean you need calculus to find where a bullet hits. You can calculate angle and arc and strike point just by using velocity squared and so on.

But if you want to know precisely where a bullet is along a certain spot in its arc, say, 200 m from the muzzle, you need calculus.

Corrections for long distance shots require the coriolis corroction too, but that's constant so it's simple geometry.

But anytime you have three or more varying amounts, and all the amounts vary via, say, a parabolic or hyperbolic curve, and there are 2 or more independent things happening at the same time, each affecting the bullet path, the calculation becomes very tricky, requiring sets of simultaneous nonlinear equations. That is, each equation will have 3 or more independent variables. Say, each equation has 4 variables and there are 5 equations. That's 4x5=20 possible solutions but each is dependent on the other, so simple arithmetic won't cut the muster.

I'm guessing that the kid discovered a new technique (a sort of math shortcut) to allow the calculations more easily, like the Polish dude figured out using parabolic functions.

I'll see if I can come up with the info and let you know.

1,255Senior MemberRank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility.Author unknow10,813Senior Member22,429Senior MemberHell no!!! Ich Spreche Kein Math, well that is cept 1+1=2, that sort a thing, but I can't spell calculus and don't want to learn, LOL!!!

I'm just glad we have somebody left on this planet with a brilliant mind to figure out all this stuff for me.

Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.

2,821Senior Member312MemberIch sprache Mathimatik nicht. As in: Spreche sie Deutche, Nicht

Ich bin eine Berliner....I am a donut.

9,327Senior MemberWWJMBD?"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee

1,255Senior MemberRank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility.Author unknow1,281Senior Member10,923Senior Memberby the way, "Ich bin ein Berliner" is excellent German and Kennedy was spot on, the "sweet roll/donut" error thing is urban myth.

It's "Sprechen sie Deutsch?" (or "Spricht du Deutsch?" if you're on a first name basis) with the reply "Nein, Ich habe keine Deutsch gelernt." (which is in itself false, of course).

Thankfully the German thing isn't pertinent, as the solution is math only.

10,923Senior Memberhttps://www.jugend-forscht.de/images/1MAT_67_download.jpg

I've not checked the values but I'm guessing that "g" is the gravitational constant, "v" is velocity, and "u" probably a resistance factor.

So it's not a set of simultaneous equations after all, just one formula. Keen.

32,995Senior Member"U" being the human body offering resistance:jester:

http://www.fark.com/vidplayer/2699683

Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall

I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

2,360Senior Member3,116Senior MemberYeah, you do that and if you do please make it simple when you explain it.:yikes::that::head:

4,739Senior MemberIt may have been a system of equations when he started but through the effective manipulation of math the sytem reduced to the equation we see in that picture.

One more thing, math folk like to label there things whatever they want so there's no being sure of what these variables stand for but (g) for gravity is a good guess.

What I find interesting is that this expression further reduces to a constant, very much like the Drag Coefficient or the Ballistic Coefficient that we use today.

We'll have to wait and see. :popcorn:

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain