Jacob Barnett is a young prodigy that is currently pursuing a Master's degree in a quantum physics related field at the age of 15. A couple of months ago, I spotted a number of special interest stories on the internet claiming that he was a candidate (or likely to be a candidate) for the Nobel prize.
Here is what I make out to be the earliest instance of this claim, an interview by BBC of the boy and his mother on a morning show. The interview and accompanying writeup is entitled, "Autistic teenager tipped for Nobel Prize". Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of similar writeups found on the internet:
- "Autistic kid 'smarter than Einstein' predicted to win Nobel Prize" - MSN
- "Autistic Teen Favored To Win Nobel Prize: Jacob Barnett, 14, Is Studying For A Masters In Quantum Physics" - Medical Daily
- "Jacob Barnett, 14-Year-Old With Asperger's Syndrome, May Be Smarter Than Einstein" - Huffington Post (see third paragraph)
Now as we all know, the Nobel prize is not awarded for being prodigiously smart, but for groundbreaking advancements or findings in a particular scientific field. Unfortunately, most of these articles seem to focus on the human interest angle, rather that what Jacob is actually working on. None of them elaborate on the claim that he is a (potential?) Nobel nominee.
My question is this: is there evidence that Jacob has published work that adds to our current model or forces us to significantly reconsider it, and that such work has been noted by the Nobel committee?
TL;DR: Is there any merit to the claim that Jacob Barnett has been "tipped for the Nobel Prize"?