Today I Discovered You Can Read Stephen Hawking’s PhD Thesis On The Universe

Last year, Stephen Hawking’s 1966 PhD thesis “Properties of expanding universes” was made publically available. The thesis deals with many cosmic phenomena, including the universe’s expansion, gravitational radiation and ‘singularities’ or the birth of the universe. The full document is available to download right now.

This article was orginally published on March 6, but with the sad news of Professor Hawking’s passing, I thought it would be nice to bring it back and celebrate his great life. Vale.

When it was first made available by the University of Cambridge on their open access library, it apparently crashed the website. Within the first 24 hours, 60,000 people had downloaded the famed scientists dissertation.

Take note, the original thesis, scanned and uploaded is rather difficult to read – having been typed on a typewriter back in the 60s. However, there are two versions that are much more legible. The text is interspersed with Hawking’s equations for various cosmological phenomena and it’s only 119 pages long (“only”).

I can actually say my thesis is longer than Stephen Hawking’s, which gives me some hope that one day, I too, may change the world.

The content contained within ‘Properties of expanding universes’ may be scary to some, but it’s just really freakin’ cool to be able to download and essentially own Stephen Hawking’s – one of the greatest astrophysicists the world has ever known – PhD thesis.

If you’re looking for a more palatable read that doesn’t contain quite as much hard scientific lingo, then you can always go with Hawking’s highly applauded A Brief History of Time (pictured right), an essential read for anyone looking to grapple with the vast complexities of space and time.

You can grab it for less than $15 from BookDepository.

You can download Hawking’s PhD Thesis, in full colour, by clicking here.

[University of Cambridge]

Today I Discovered is a daily dose of facts for Lifehacker readers – the weird, wonderful and sometimes worrying. Most of the time, it’s just mind-blowing. Let us know if you discovered anything that blew your mind in the comments!


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