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Demand for Hawking Thesis Shuts Down Cambridge University Website

FILE - In this March 6, 2017, photo, Stephen Hawking receives the Honorary Freedom of the City of London. Cambridge University has put Hawking's doctoral thesis online, Oct. 23, 2017. "Properties of Expanding Universes" explores ideas about the origins of the universe that have resonated through the scientist’s career.

When Britain's Cambridge University put physicist Stephen Hawking's 1966 thesis on line for the first time Monday, the university’s website collapsed.

Professor Hawking’s "Properties of Expanding Universes" has been the most requested item in the university’s library.

To meet the demand, and with Hawking’s encouragement, Cambridge made it available on line.

About 60,000 people sought to access it, causing the system to periodically shut down throughout the day Monday.

Hawking is the world's best-known physicist and expert on the cosmos.

His landmark 1988 work "A Brief History of Time" has sold more than 10 million copies.

With his thesis now available for anyone to read, Hawking said he hopes 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.”

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