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Cambridge puts Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis online

The university said hopes to encourage former academics, including 98 Nobel affiliates, to make their work freely available to all.

world Updated: Oct 23, 2017 23:09 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
British scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
British scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.(Reuters File)

The 1965 doctoral thesis of Stephen Hawking has been made freely available online by the University of Cambridge, providing a glimpse into the mind of the iconic scientist when he was a 24-year-old student at the varsity.

Titled Properties of Expanding Universes, the thesis has been made accessible via Cambridge’s open access repository Apollo, a statement from the university on Monday 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,” Hawking said in a statement released by the university.

“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. 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 said it hopes to encourage former academics, including 98 Nobel affiliates, to make their work freely available to all.

Jessica Gardner, director of the university’s library services, said: “The Cambridge University library is home to the physical papers of such greats as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Their research data was on paper and we have preserved that with great care and share it openly on line through our digital library.”

The university said Apollo is home to over 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 nearly every country and in 2017 have collectively received over one million downloads.