YEAR 11 Wagga Wagga student Hugo Currie has made a remarkable mathematical discovery landing his name in an international peer reviewed journal.
The 17-year-old began research into the 'golden ratio' as part of his International Baccalaureate Mathematics assignment at The Riverina Anglican College.
After researching whether the golden ratio or Fibonacci sequence could be applied to the mass of isotopes, Hugo soon discovered something else - the data he collected gave results never before seen in the world of mathematics or science.
Five weeks later, Hugo has been published in international peer reviewed journal, Open Science.
"Originally, it was a part of my maths assignment, and we had to investigate an element of the golden ratio in the built or natural environment so I decided to look at atomic structure because it would tie in well with physics and chemistry as two of my other subjects," he said.
"I researched the Chart of Nuclide, which is basically every variation of every element, so there's 118 elements and 4000 nuclides I looked at."
As part of Hugo's research, the data analysed had to fit two mathematical tests before being considered an element of the golden ratio, but he took it a step further.
"I developed my own new formula that took into account mass number, number of neutrons and number of protons, ran it through an excel spreadsheet for all 4000 nuclides and found there were 12 that gave extremely positive and high accuracy results," he said.
"So once I plotted those 12 on the Chart of Nuclide, it gave extremely strong line, and that line can now be used to determine the existence of new nuclides and possibly new elements.
Hugo described his discovery, which he calls the 'Fibonacci Nuclides', as "uncanny".
"All aspects of those 12 nuclides' atomic structures correlated to the Fibonacci Sequence, it's perfect," he said.
The journey from an idea to making the new discovery happened quickly, and unexpectedly, for Hugo.
"I was playing around and didn't realise it was new information I was looking into," he said.
"I used a lot of my own data, and after I realised it could be used for some cool things, I started looking if anyone had done it before and I couldn't find anything which showed this relationship, so that's when I started getting excited.
"I got the assignment five weeks ago, and it took me about a week to get the idea, then I took another week to research it, and another to write it up, then it took about two weeks to get accepted into the journal."
In other news:
Mathematical minds run in the Currie family, with Hugo's father lending advice to his son along the journey to becoming an author.
"Dad is published in over 150 journal articles, so he guided me in terms of how to adapt by maths assignment into a journal article and also managing the peer reviewing process," Hugo said.
"It was really cool to have that help and support, and he's extremely excited as well."
The young mathematician has a bright future ahead, but more pressing priorities await for the time being.
"Now it's published, I'm hoping somewhere in the future it will create some opportunities for me, but really at the moment, I'm focusing on my actual assignments with school," he said.
Hugo's maths teach at TRAC, Andrea Barkla, said the news of his achievement was "incredible".
"I have been teaching for over 20 years now and I've never had a student discover anything quite like this," she said.
"I'm so proud of him, he's a role model student, he works so hard, hes conscientious, his enthusiasm is infectious and I'm really glad it's all come together for him."
Ms Barkla has one message to share with Hugo.
"Enjoy the ride. Follow your passion Hugo, this obviously means the world to you," she said.