Stephen Hawking PhD’s popularity crashes Cambridge University website

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Cambridge University/Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking’s handwriting can be seen on the document

Demand for Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis has intermittently crashed part of Cambridge University’s website as physics fans flock to read his work.

Prof Hawking’s 1966 thesis “Properties of expanding universes” was made freely available for the first time on the publications section of university’s website at 00:01 BST.

More than 30,000 have so far accessed his work as a 24-year-old postgraduate.

Prof Hawking said by making it available he hoped to “inspire people”.

He added: “Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and enquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.

“It’s wonderful to hear how many people have already shown an interest in downloading my thesis – hopefully they won’t be disappointed now that they finally have access to it!”

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Graham CopeKoga

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Professor Hawking is still working at Cambridge University at the age of 75

The 75-year-old’s doctoral thesis is the most requested item in Cambridge University’s publications system.

To read it in full previously, people had to pay the university library to print a copy or physically go to the library to read it.

Because of the popularity of the 134-page work the website has, at times, struggled to cope with the volume of users on Monday.

But thousands have still been able to read the document by the man who would go on to write A Brief History of Time, one of the most influential scientific works ever.

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Cambridge University/Stephen Hawking

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The opening page of Stephen Hawking’s PhD, when he was a 24-year-old studying at Trinity Hall College

The abstract of his PhD begins: “Some implications and consequences of the universe are examined”.

Cambridge University said it now hoped to encourage its other former academics to make their work available to the public, like Prof Hawking has.


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