Stephen Hawking dared to ask disruptive questions for the scientific world at the time he was a student. As he didn’t receive any answer to satisfy his curiosity, Hawking created his own contributions. Thanks to his improvements in cosmology, he is now one of the most renowned scientists of all times. Cambridge University Library decided to honor such an academic by publishing his 1966 doctoral thesis online and claim no charge for users’ wish to educate themselves on early theories on the expanding universe.
The Online Version of Hawking’s Doctoral Thesis Made 60,000 Users Crash Servers
The Cambridge Library turned Stephen Hawking’s thesis ‘Properties of Expanding Universes’ into several PDF documents and then made them available for download on its Apollo website. The public was so interested in reading such a historical paper, that servers were put under a lot of stress. Eventually, they collapsed bringing the website down with them as well for a while.
By late Monday, at least 60,000 people downloaded the thesis. Deputy head of research communications at Cambridge, Stuart Roberts, was taken aback by such a massive reaction. Usually, some of the most popular works receive 100 visits on average per month.
This move couldn’t have been possible without Stephen Hawking’s approval. His endorsement came just in time to welcome Open Access 2017. Cambridge University has also promised to follow this success with further free academic works which will be available to anyone. Hawking sent his approval with a word of encouragement addressed to the public.
“By making my Ph.D. thesis Open Access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet.”
As a Young Student, Hawking Detailed the Ramifications of the Expansion of the Universe
Before October 23, Stephen Hawking’s doctoral thesis with the Ph.D. 5437 code was nowhere to be seen in the digital world. Instead, it remained dormant on a shelf at Cambridge. Its physical version covers 100 pages bound in a green cover. For a copy of this document, a person was supposed to pay a fee of $85.
‘Properties of Expanding Universes’ consists of four chapters. These are “The Hoyle-Narliker theory of gravitation,” “Perturbations,” “Gravitational radiation in an expanding universe,” and “Singularities.” The paper followed the ramifications of the expansion of the universe.
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