Stephen Hawking wrote his doctoral dissertation when he was 24 years old at Cambridge University I 1966, thoroughly discussing ideas in, “Properties of Expanding Universes.” Now, Hawking’s work is available online for anyone across the planet to read.
Hawking hopes that this free access to his thesis will inspire others to think, learn and share research. He 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.” In addition,
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.
Cambridge, which says the work is “historic and compelling,” reports that Hawking’s dissertation is already the most-requested item in its open access catalogue, Apollo. The Guardian says that the university states, “In just the past few months, the university has received hundreds of requests from readers wishing to download Prof Hawking’s thesis in full.”
This thesis delves into the implications and consequences of the universe’s expansion, and concludes that galaxies cannot be formed without the growth of perturbations.
Making the dissertation free and available to all marks Open Access Week 2017. Hawking said, “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.”
This early work set Hawking down a path towards becoming one of the world’s most famous scientists. He continues to remain an imposing figure, even after a form of motor neuron disease left him confined to a wheelchair for life, dependent on a computerized system for speech.