A few months after 12-year-old Laurent Simons – often nicknamed "Belgium's little Einstein" – obtained his master's degree in quantum physics, he will be starting a PhD at the prestigious German Max Planck Institute.
At 6 years old, the boy from the coastal city of Ostend finished primary school. Three years later he started university. In 2021, he was the first 11-year-old to earn a bachelor's degree in Belgium and in July of this year, at age 12, he obtained his master's degree in quantum physics at the University of Antwerp.
Now, he is starting a new chapter: Simons will start his PhD at the prestigious Max Planck Institute. He had also done an internship there at the Attoworld research group in Munich, where he was researching lasers to detect cancer in people's blood with world-renowned professors.
"He likes being there so he is staying there," his father Alexander Simons told De Standaard, without revealing what his son's PhD will be about.
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"It will be a combination of chemistry, medicine and physics and he will be in labs day in and day out." His father added that Laurent doesn't like to limit himself to one field of research. "He will get the time he needs to bring it to fruition. He can immerse himself in those three fields, which is wonderful."