Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis crashes Cambridge University's website

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Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis crashes Cambridge University's website
Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis crashes Cambridge University's website

New Delhi : The PhD thesis by Stephen Hawking, world's most famous living scientist, garnered such a huge response that the host website was crashed in minutes after it was made available for public reading online.

"We have had a huge response to Professor Hawking's decision to make his Ph.D. thesis publicly available to download," a spokesperson for the university said. "As a result, visitors to our open access site may find that it is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable."

In the thesis, Hawking has covered several topics, including recently discovered gravitational radiation. The final chapter, which comes as the interest for many physicists, talks about how the universe was made. It has been titled as "Singularities". 

The Cambridge University uploaded small PDF versions of the thesis for download but instant response from the readers overwhelmed servers. By the time website was crashed, the thesis had received a readership of about 60,000, says Stuart Roberts, deputy head of research communications at Cambridge. 

He added, "Other popular theses might have 100 views per month."

Taking swift actions, the website worked upon servers and the website coped up decently on Tuesday.

Hawking agreed to make the thesis available for free download on Cambridge's Apollo repository, in a deal that marks Open Access 2017 and signals the university's new push to make more academic work freely available. In a statement released by the university, Hawking 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. 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."

Prior to this, the thesis was available for offline reading at Cambridge with a special mention that "No copying without author's consent." If anybody wanted to copy the content, he would be required to pay the library a fee of 65 pounds (about $85).