Some children show astounding intelligence and remarkable skill in a field at a very tender age and prove themselves superior even to adults. These child prodigies are gifted and have achieved things impossible to others their age. Their talent and intellect is so humbling. It was very difficult to come out with a list of 10 because every child prodigy had their own unique gift and proved to be genius. I have compiled a list here taking 10 child prodigies from different fields
10. Akrit Jaswal
This wonder kid was just 7 years old when he performed his first surgery shocking the entire world. Akrit Pran Jaswal was born on April 23, 1993 in Nurpur, Himachal Pradesh. He started speaking in his tenth month and was able to learn languages very well. He was passionate about science and anatomy. At five years age he started reading books of Shakespeare and also assembled medical books. When he was six, doctors at local hospitals allowed him to observe surgeries as they were so impressed by his intelligence. With this inspiration he started reading everything that he could on surgeries. At the age of 7 he performed the surgery of an 8 year old girl with burnt and fused fingers. The girl’s family could not afford the cost of surgery so they approached Akrit who was the local medical genius. The surgery was successful and Akrit became world’s youngest surgeon. He joined and studied BSc undergraduate course in medicine in a medical university of India while he was just 12 years old. His aim is to find a cure for cancer.
9. Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen, a Norwegian chess grandmaster and a chess prodigy, became world number one when he was still a teenager. He was the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world no. 1 when he was just 19! Carlsen became a grandmaster at a very young age of 13 years, 148 days. He became the fifth player to achieve a rating above 2800 at an age of 18 years and 336 days and the youngest to do so. His peak rating is 2872, the highest in history making him the top rated player of all time. He was the 2009 World Blitz chess champion. Carlsen qualified for the Candidates Tournament that took place in March–April 2013 based on his FIDE rankings. He won this tournament thus earning the right to challenge World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who is 20 years older than him, in the World Chess Championship. Carlsen is a weird combination of shyness and self confidence!
8. Taylor Wilson
Taylor Wilson is a teenage nuclear scientist who became the youngest person ever to build a nuclear fusion reactor at the age of 14. He began the project in his garage in Arkansas but completed it when he was a student at Davidson, which is located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. He invented a cheap and highly sensitive device to detect enriched uranium. His recent achievement is developing a working prototype to make radioactive isotopes in a much smaller, more portable device. It could revolutionize the administration of cancer treatments. He is also working on plutonium detector to inspect cargo containers. He has won many awards at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). He was awarded the Thiel Fellowship in June 2012.
7. Kim Ung-Yong
Popular as the highest IQ man with an unbelievable IQ of 210, Kim Ung-Yong has achieved a lot at a very young age. He holds the Guinness world record for highest IQ. This Korean genius started speaking when he was just four months old. By the time he was 24 months of age he could read Korean, Japanese, German and English. He was a guest student of Physics at Hanyang University from the age of three to six. He got invited to work at NASA at the age of eight. He received a Ph.D. in Physics at the age of 15 at Colorado State University. Kim shifted to civil engineering from physics surprising everyone and received a doctorate in it. He later joined a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation. He is leading an ordinary life and is very happy and satisfied with it.
6. Jean-François Champollion
Jean-François Champollion was born in Figeac in south-western France on 22 December 1790. He was just 16 when he could speak 12 languages and had presented a paper regarding the Coptic language before Grenoble Academy. By the time his teenage ended he had learned many more languages, was a history professor and could decipher hieroglyphics. By 20 he could also speak Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Amharic, Sanskrit, Avestan, Pahlavi, Arabic, Syriac, Chaldean, Persian, Ethiopic, and Chinese in addition to his native French. He published the first translation of the Rosetta Stone and started the entire field of modern Egyptology. He is popularly referred to as the Father of Egyptology. Champollion died suddenly on 4 March 1832 when he was in the middle of writing his great Egyptian grammar and dictionary which was published by his brother after his death.
5. John von Neumann
Neumann, the Hungarian-born American pure mathematician is one of the greatest mathematicians of modern history who also contributed to many other fields such as ergodic theory, functional analysis, geometry topology, numerical analysis, economics, computer science, hydrodynamics, quantum mechanics, fluid dynamics, statistics, and many other mathematical fields. When he was a six-year-old kid, he could divide eight numbers in his head, and was also skilled in language and memorization. He was, in fact, able to memorize telephone directories on sight. By the age of 8 he had mastered calculus. At the age of 15, he began to study advanced calculus under the well known analyst Gabor Szego who, on their first meeting, was so amazed with the child prodigy’s mathematical talent that he was moved to tears! Neumann published two major mathematical papers when he was 19. He worked with the world’s top physicists to study the fields of quantum mechanics and human behavior. The architecture of all modern computers is based on the stored program principle called “von Neumann architecture”.
4. Carl Friedrich Gauss
Gauss was a German mathematician and physical scientist who is sometimes referred to as ‘Prince of Mathematics’ because of his major contributions to algebra, number theory, differential geometry and statistics! He is considered to be the greatest German mathematician of 19th century. As a child he had a photographic memory. This child prodigy could sum hundreds of numbers in only a few seconds when he was just 3 years old! He made his first ground-breaking mathematical discoveries while he was still a teenager. The Duke of Brunswick was so impressed by the talent of young Gauss that he offered to pay for his continued education.
3. Pablo Picasso
Most of you are familiar with this famous painter and his remarkable paintings. He was born in a poor family in Spain in 1881. He is one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. It is believed that he started drawing even before he could talk. As soon as he started to speak the first thing he demanded was a paintbrush. He agreed to go to school on a condition that he was allowed to draw as much as he wanted to. Luckily, his headmaster and other school mates recognized Picasso’s talent and he was allowed to come and go and work as he wished. He created the Picador, one of the famous pieces of artwork, when he was just 8 years old. Some of his contributions to art are co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and the wide variety of styles that he helped to establish. By the time he died in 1973 he already created over 22,000 works of art!
2. Blaise Pascal
The 17th century French mathematician, physicist and philosopher contributed to many areas of mathematics and science. He was able to do complex geometric proofs at an age of 12. By the time he was 16, he found his own theorem and was working with prominent French mathematicians. A true child prodigy, Pascal invented and discovered so much when he was just a teen. He constructed his first arithmetical machine at the age of 18. He invented the mechanical calculator called Pascaline after three years of effort and 50 prototypes. He laid foundation of probability theory. Pascal died in Paris on August 19, 1662 when he was 39 years old.
1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This Austrian musician is one of the most well known child prodigies. Mozart is highly recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of western music. He was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria. At 3 years of age he was playing the harpsichord and started composing his own music at the age of 5! When he was six, his father Leopold took him and his sister Nannerl to Munich to play at the Bavarian court and after few months they went to Vienna and performed at the imperial court and the noble houses. They continued their tour giving concerts in courts of Europe. Mozart learned to play the violin and the organ while touring. Wolfgang published his first two sonatas for the harpsichord at just the age of 8 and by the age of 13 he had composed his first opera as requested by an emperor. He became an accomplished keyboard player in his mid twenties. This most talented composer died at a young age of 35 in 1791 leaving behind his collection of 600 compositions which were sophisticated and voluptuous.