So many people wanted to read Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis, the website crashed

Brett Molina
Justin Tallis/AFP | AFP | Getty Images

Good luck trying to read the Ph.D. thesis of a young Stephen Hawking.

On Monday, the University of Cambridge in the U.K. announced it would post Hawking's thesis "Properties of expanding universes" for free to anyone through its Open Access repository.

Hawking gave the university permission to offer the thesis, written in 1966 when he was 24, for download.

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"I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet," said Hawking in a statement.

There's one problem: The thesis is so popular it crashed the online repository. As of publishing, the link to Hawking's thesis will not load.

The repository, called Apollo, includes more than 200,000 digital objects including 15,000 research articles and 2,400 theses. The university hopes Hawking's decision encourages more scientists to follow suit.

"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," said Hawking.

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This article originally appeared on USA Today.

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