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Stephen Hawking’s 1966 PhD thesis gets over two million views in just days

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking   | Photo Credit: AP

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis has been accessed more than two million times from across the world within days of it being made available to the public, according to media reports.

Mr. Hawking’s 1966 work — which was released on Cambridge University’s website last week — proved to be so popular that it crashed the publications section of the site on the first day.

More than 5,00,000 people have also tried to download the paper, titled “Properties of expanding universes.”

Mr. Hawking wrote the 134-page document as a 24-year-old postgraduate student while studying at Cambridge.

The astrophysicist, who has been at Cambridge University since 1962, is the author of A Brief History of Time — one of the most influential scientific works.

Since it went live last week, the PhD thesis has been accessed about two million times by about 8,00,000 unique browsers “from every corner of the globe”, the ‘BBC News’ reported.

Varsity’s most accessed item

“This is far and away the most accessed item we have in the university’s Apollo repository,” said Arthur Smith, from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

The next most read PhD thesis has received just 7,960 downloads in 2017.

Previously, to read Mr. Hawking’s PhD in full, people had to pay 65 pounds to the university library to scan a copy or physically go to the library to read it.


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 3:01:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/stephen-hawkings-1966-phd-thesis-gets-over-two-million-views/article19944317.ece

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