Jacob Barnett, 17, is a very special teenager. With an IQ of 170, he is thought to be smarter than Albert Einstein. He is also autistic, having been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at a young age.
When Jacob was born, his parents were told that because of his severe autism, he would most likely never speak or read and would be unable to care for himself in any way. He defied the odds by becoming a prodigy in science and math with a special interest in theoretical physics.
In an interview on 60 Minutes at age 13, Jacob said he was proud of his autism and spoke of his many academic achievements. He began college at Purdue University at age 10 then moved on to a 12-month program of study at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada. When he finished that course, he became a doctoral student at the Institute and is now doing research on loop quantum gravity and quantum foundations.
Jacob has had his research published and says he wants to disprove the theory of relativity set forth by Einstein in the early 20th century. His ultimate goal is to win a Nobel Prize in physics.