See Stephen Hawking’s PhD Thesis Online

Step inside the mind of the young Stephen Hawking as his PhD thesis goes online.

Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis, ‘Properties of expanding universes’, has been made freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world, via the University of Cambridge’s Open Access repository, Apollo.

The Apollo database is home to over 200,000 digital objects including 15,000 research articles, 10,000 images, 2,400 theses and 1,000 datasets.

Talking about the release of the document 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.

“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.

“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!”

 Dr Arthur Smith, Deputy Head of Scholarly Communication, said: “From October 2017 onwards, all PhD students graduating from the University of Cambridge will be required to deposit an electronic copy of their doctoral work for future preservation. And like Professor Hawking, we hope that many students will also take the opportunity to freely distribute their work online by making their thesis Open Access. We would also invite former University alumni to consider making their theses Open Access, too.

“While the University is committed to archiving all these it is often a struggle gaining permission to open up historic theses. With the online publication of Professor Hawking’s thesis, Cambridge now hopes to encourage its former academics – which includes 98 Nobel Affiliates – to make their work freely available to all.”

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