While most kids are still learning the basics of life in their pre-teens, that’s not the case for Laurent Simons. Simons, a child prodigy from Belgium, on the contrary, just earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Antwerp. At age 11. And he says he wants to use his rapidly increasing knowledge to make humans immortal.
Psych News Daily reported on Simons’ extraordinary achievement. The child prodigy took only a single year to complete his degree; just a third the amount of time the University says students usually need to finish.
This is actually Simons’ second attempt at completing a bachelor’s program, with his first coming at the age of seven. The prodigy, apparently, was doing fine in the program, but his university at that point, Eindhoven University of Technology, took issue with graduating somebody under the age of 10. Simons parents took issue with this restriction and pulled him from the university.
Despite the setback, Simons graduated summa cum laude and now has his degree. His aim moving forward, he told Dutch public broadcaster NOS, is to “be able to replace as many body parts as possible with mechanical parts” in pursuit of immortality. Indeed, Simons says he’s “mapped out a path” to get there. And that “the first piece of the puzzle” is to study matter’s smallest particles and the way they behave. In other words, he wants to learn everything possible about quantum physics.
“I want to work with the best professors in the world, look inside their brains, and find out how they think,” Simons added. And while that is, again, an absolutely wild statement coming from an 11-year-old, it seems like if we wanted to (safely) study anybody’s brain, it’d be Simons’ own. Although what’s going on with monkey brains is pretty dang fascinating too.