Stephen Hawking Publishes His PhD Online for Free

Source Getty Images

Source Getty Images

"Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and inquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding", he said.

One of the earliest examples of What Stephen Hawking Thinks About Something is now out there for everyone to (try to) read, with a thesis of the man's from the 1960s released online.

Stephen Hawking's 1966 doctoral thesis has broken the internet after becoming available to the general public for the first time. But now it is getting thousands of more views than it ever did filed away at the University of Cambridge library.

From this month and into the future, all Cambridge Ph.D. students will be required to include an electronic copy of their work for preservation.

In fact, this will open a new tradition among Cambridge graduates, who will all have to make all their theses and works available on the web.

While the University is committed to archiving all theses it is often a struggle gaining permission to open up historic theses.

So many people wanted to see Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis that they crashed the University of Cambridge website, where the thesis was posted publicly Monday for the first time.

Professor Hawking said by making the thesis available he hoped to "inspire people".

He was 24 years old at the time.

The scientist himself commented on open access for her thesis, noting that each generation of scientists bases its discoveries to those who came before him. Even to examine as a historical document, it's quite compelling though - complete with a typed dedication to his supervisor and a handwritten statement of originality: "this dissertation is my original work - SW Hawking". "It is home to the physical papers of such greats as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin", Cambridge's library services director Jessica Gardner said, according to the university.

So far the Apollo archive contains 200,000 digital objects, including 15,000 research articles, 10,000 images, 2,400 theses and 1,000 datasets. The items made available in Apollo have been accessed from almost every country in the world and in 2017 have collectively received over one million downloads.

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