Romanieo Golphin, Jr. may only be 7, but already there are whispers that he could be the Albert Einstein of his generation. The home-schooled boy from Silver Spring, Maryland, showed signs of precociousness at age 2, when he was able to tackle questions about particle physics between spoonfuls of Cheerios. Although Romanieo digs art and music and loves LEGO and candy, his real passions lie with science, a subject where he gets to articulate “big words” like “cyclohexanecarboxylic acid” that would trip the tongues of most grownups. “They’re not a mouthful for me,” he told the Washington Post.

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People started to take notice. Steven Goldfarb, an experimental physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which runs the Large Hadron Collider, invited the pint-size prodigy and his family to tour the facilities in Switzerland, whereupon he dubbed Romanieo a CERN “ambassador” to the Washington region.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of National Geographic’s Cosmos, is said to be a fan.

The elder Golphin, an adviser for the music department at the University of North Carolina, regularly takes Romanieo to to university classes to observe.

“When he looked in my classroom, all I saw was his hair, his forehead and his eyeballs,” said Brian Hogan, a professor of chemistry at UNC. “And his eyeballs, they looked like hard-boiled eggs, they were open so wide.”

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Hogan was a skeptic at the beginning, but little Romanieo quickly won him over. “He could be the next Einstein,” he said. “He’s got a mind that is built to solve problems.”

Romanieo’s parents hope that their son’s aptitude for science will lead him change people’s lives for the better. But they also acknowledge that his interests could just as easily lead him to a career in the arts.

“Let the boy free, and he’s going to create his world,” Golphin said.

Via the Washington Post

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