The popular physicist had his original thesis paper released online, and it proved to be so popular that it overwhelmed the university's servers.
Cambridge University has released the original thesis written by famed physicist Stephen Hawking, and the document proved to be so popular that it crashed the site. Hawking’s paper, “Properties of Expanding Universes,” was made available for download via PDF, and people looking to download it overwhelmed the university’s servers.
After just hours, the thesis had been viewed more than 60,000 times, whereas a even a popular thesis ont he site would normally get about 100 views per month. Hawking himself agreed to make the thesis available for download from Cambridge’s Apollo repository.
Hawking said in a statement he wanted to inspire people to “look up at the stars and not down at their feet,” and to try to make sense of the universe. The thesis has long been available at Cambridge University, but this will be the first time it is available around the world as a download.
“To celebrate Open Access Week 2017, Cambridge University Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication has today announced Professor Hawking’s permission to make his thesis freely available and Open Access in Apollo,” reads the university statement. “By making his PhD thesis Open Access, anyone can now freely download and read this historic and compelling research by the then little-known 24-year-old Cambridge postgraduate.”
Professor Hawking said: “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. 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.”