Desert Vista High School senior Sahil Khan

Desert Vista High School senior Sahil Khan shows the physics book he wrote.

A Summit School of Ahwatukee graduate who now is a Desert Vista High School senior has published a book.

Sahil Khan, 17, has published “The Potential of Physics,” which tackles complex subjects like time travel, wormholes, black holes, teleportation and quantum computing.

The son of Saba and Shazir Khan, Sahil began attending Summit when he was 3 and was in the eighth grade Class of 2017 and developed an interest in math “around middle school.”

“I just liked math a lot but wanted to apply it,” he said. “I liked using math in different scenarios and my interest just developed over time.”

His interest in physics blossomed from there – and then came a desire to write a book about what he learned.

 “I have been doing a lot of research on my own since eighth grade,” Sahil said. “Not a lot of people know about black holes and astrophysics and I wanted to broaden people’s perspectives. I thought maybe if I could explain physics in an entertaining way, some people might like to read about it.” 

Explaining physics was the easy part because Sahil had done a lot of research and knew what he wanted to write about.

But he didn’t start out intending to write a book. 

“My research was just a fun side project and it became bigger and bigger.” 

In the end, he decided that “since I put so much work into this project, I might as well publish it.” 

Sahil did encounter some challenges.

He said that the illustrations were difficult because he is a “terrible artist.” 

Eventually, he found that he was able to use Photoshop to help illustrate

his book.

“Finding citations to back up what I wrote was difficult,” he said, adding that after all, “Who is going to believe a 17-year-old without proof?” 

He said his parents have been his biggest supporters throughout the project. 

“They encouraged me to keep going, and the book wouldn’t be what it is today without them,” he said.

Andrea Yocum, Sahil’s middle school science teacher, is proud of her former student’s achievement, 

“Sahil was a curious and driven student,” Yocum said. “He loved to be challenged and to push himself to complete more in-depth and challenging concepts, especially in physics, his 8th grade year.  He was never afraid to ask questions or to seek answers so that he could learn anything and everything about science and its application.”

Sahil’s advice to current Summit students, “Explore what you are passionate about and don’t be afraid. It wasn’t my end goal to write a book. My goal was to do something that I enjoyed because it was fun for me.” 

Though he has not identified a future college or university to attend yet, he’s eyeing a major in either physics or computer science.

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