It’s one of the most requested items in the Cambridge University’s Apollo repository – and, just hours after becoming freely available to the public, demand for Stephen Hawking’s 1966 doctoral thesis has already proven too much for the website.
The esteemed theoretical physicist’s PhD thesis was released in the Open Access archive today, allowing anyone to download it and read it in full.
The move triggered such interest, however, that is has crashed the university’s website, making it intermittently inaccessible throughout the day.
Just hours after becoming freely available to the public, demand for Stephen Hawking’s 1966 doctoral thesis has crashed the University of Cambridge’s website. Stephen Hawking is pictured with Isaac Newton’s annotated copy of Principia Mathematica
Hawking’s PhD thesis, ‘Properties of Expanding Universes,’ explores ideas about the origins of the universe that have resonated through the scientist’s career.
The now-famous scientist completed it in 1966, when he was just 24 years old.
Cambridge University Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication announced the paper’s availability today to mark open Access Week.
As it’s often difficult to obtain permission for historic theses, the university is hoping Hawking’s participation will inspire other academics to follow suit.
‘By making my PhD thesis Open Access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos,’ Professor Hawking said.
‘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.
‘Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young PhD student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein.
The esteemed theoretical physicist’s PhD thesis was released in the Open Access archive today, allowing anyone to download it and read it in full. Hawking’s PhD thesis, ‘Properties of Expanding Universes,’ explores ideas about the origins of the universe
SHOULD WE BE WARY OF ALIENS?
If there are any intelligent alien life forms out there, Stephen Hawking thinks we’re playing a dangerous game by trying to contact them.
The physicist believes if aliens discovered Earth, they are likely to want to conquer and colonise our planet.
‘If aliens visit us, the outcome could be much like when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,’ he said in an interview.
But co-founder and former director of the Seti Institute, Jill Tarter, doesn’t think this will be the case.
She argues any aliens who have managed to travel across the universe will be sophisticated enough to be friendly and peaceful.
‘The idea of a civilisation which has managed to survive far longer than we have…and the fact that that technology remains an aggressive one, to me, doesn’t make sense,’ she said.
‘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!’
The University of Cambridge counts 98 Nobel Affiliates among its alumni.
With Hawking’s thesis now available for free in the massive database, the university says others may feel encouraged to make their research Open Access, too.
According to Cambridge, the thesis was already the most-requested item in its online repository.
It was free to download Monday to mark Open Access Week.
The now-famous scientist completed his PhD thesis in 1966, when he was just 24 years old. Cambridge University Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication announced the paper’s availability today to mark open Access Week