This thread makes me wonder if he was actually analyzing while he walked, instead of just giving his hands something to do.
For all this, this is the first I’ve heard, and, according to a google search, the first internet mention, of Kim Peek playing with a button on a string. My guess is that his attention was attracted to the regularity of its cycle and the sound it made, not to any analysis of its physics.
Although Peek’s memory and other skills are extraordinary, and he’s unusual among savants in displaying original thought, and his ability to interact somewhat normally with people, he’s very limited in his ability to understand cause-and-effect connections and symbolic representations of the kind needed to consider the mechanics of even a simple physical system. ...
Mmmmm...didn't find an e-mail for Mr. Peek did you? The best I could find was a gal setting up appointments for appearences at schools by Mr. Peek & Mr. Peek.*
Whether or not Kim has any thoughts on the physics involved, I bet he remembers where & when he learned about the spinning-disk-on-a-string, as well as 98.8% of everything he has ever read about the device.
*The Real Rain Man: A Father's Inspiring Account of Kim Peek, Made Famous by Oscar Winner Dustin Hoffman