Just hours after the Cambridge University made Professor Stephen Hawking's historic thesis "Properties of Expanding Universes," available for all to download, the university website crashed. It was already the most-requested item on the University's open access repository, Apollo, which contains around 200,000 digital objects.
The website couldn't take the huge amount of users that flooded to download Professor Hawking's paper, since the time it became public on October 23, making it intermittently inaccessible throughout the day.
"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!" said Professor Hawking, as per a report by Cambridge University.
Several astrophysicists around the world had a chance to look at Hawking's "compelling" 1966 thesis as a graduate student and University of Chicago's Michael Turner was one of them. As per Turner, the paper gives an amazing vision of Stephen Hawking's thought process at the time of writing the paper.
It can be seen on Hawking's thesis that the celebrated scientist could still write at the time when he was working on the paper, as he has written out equations and signed his name too in the paper. "This dissertation is my own work," Hawking scribbled in the thesis.
It is very much possible that at that time, his wife, Jane, had helped him out with the writings, said Turner to Newsweek.
While most of the thesis is extraordinary and awe-inspiring, Turner points out that Hawking's assertions in chapter two of the thesis are actually not right. There, Hawking draws the conclusion that galaxies cannot be formed as a result of a growth of small and initial lumpiness in the destruction of matter, whereas, researchers have found just the opposite to be true.
For most of the graduate students, their thesis is not their best work of life. In this case, this indiscretion of Professor Hawking, at the age of 24 proves that he was just a typical graduate student, said Turner, reported Newsweek.
However, he still was Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant minds, who, till date, remains unparalleled.
In chapter three of his thesis, Hawking accurately deduces the intricacies of gravitational waves in the expanding universe. This theory, proves his calibre, said, Turner.
However, chapter four of "Properties of Expanding Universes" is where Hawking truly proves his mettle as a genius theoretical physicist.
Turner said that Hawking ends his thesis by "proving something beautiful." Hawking was able to prove the singularity theory, which later on became the famous Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems. Hawking was able to show that the universe is expanding. "He can prove that in the past there was a big bang," Turner said.
On his part, Hawking believes that his move of making the thesis public will encourage other scholars to do the same, which would be beneficial for the young minds. "Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young Ph.D. student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein," said Professor Hawking.
"By making my Ph.D. 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," he added.