Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis from Cambridge University was so popular the day it became publicly available that it crashed the university’s website.
Hawking’s 1966 thesis, entitled “Properties of expanding universes,” was reportedly viewed more than 2 million times within days of it being made public.
“This is far and away the most accessed item we have in the university’s Apollo repository,” Dr. Arthur Smith, deputy head of scholarly communication for Cambridge, told The BBC.
“I’d hazard a guess that Prof. Hawking’s PhD thesis is also the most accessed item from any research repository ever. We’ve never seen numbers like this before,” he said.
The next most-read PhD thesis was downloaded less than 8,000 times in 2017.
Cambridge said the document, which Hawking authored as a 24-year-old postgraduate student, had been viewed “from every corner of the globe.”