Muhammad Shaheer Niazi’s a recognized scientist at the age of 17 for his research on electric honeycomb recently published in Royal Society Open Science journal.
The high school student from Lahore succeeded to photograph the movement of ions responsible for honeycomb also recording the heat found on the surface of oil for the first time.
International Young Physicists’ Tournament held in Russia last year he was given the problem electric honeycomb. Mr. Niazi and his 4 fellow students have made the first-ever team represent Pakistan at the tournament. Mr. Niazi decided to get his research published before returning from Russia.
Before his paper was finally accepted for publication he had another year of work to come up with “novel ideas”. He received the letter of acceptance last month.
BBC has interviewed him after his publication.
Mr. Niazi elaborated “Electric honeycomb demonstrates how everything is seeking equilibrium in this universe. Its hexagonal shape is the most stable structure.”
He said that the two electrodes are used with a thin layer of oil on it. High voltage from the needle makes ions bombard the surface of oil to meet the ground electrode.
He said it is just like lightning striking the surface of the earth. Nevertheless, oil is a non-conductor due to which ions start accumulating on the surface of oil. They create a depression and manage to meet the ground electrode as the pressure increases.
Honeycomb-like hexagonal structures appear on the surface of oil within no time.
“The amount of energy that goes equals comes out and thus the flow of electricity is efficient and equilibrium is restored,” he summed up.
He photographed the ion wind showing ions moving and also recorded heat produced through movement that needs further study.
He had been using the shadowgraph technique just for fun before using it in his research. “I managed to photograph the shadow of ion-wind as novelty in my paper.”
Mr. Niazi, the traditional classroom learning is boring at times. He turned to other paths such as books from his father and grandfather.
He got introduced to self-learning. He took his first online course in 11 years. He has taken 25 courses from platforms like Coursera. He owns a telescope and tools for his scientific experiments as his toys.
He said he was not expecting media attention he is glad he has made his country proud. He wants to be in a reputable educational institution for further research in physics.
Mr. Niazi aims to win another Nobel Prize for Pakistan and thinks bigger. I was 16 when I officially received my acceptance letter while Isaac Newton was 17 when his first paper was published.