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The recent film ‘The Theory of Everything‘ describes an early chunk of the life of Professor Stephen Hawking. Having recently seen it for a second time, I was intrigued by the scene where Hawking goes in front of his Cambridge University professors, who marvel at his thesis ‘Singularities and the Geometry of Space-Time‘.
Professor Hawking had previously been an undergraduate at Oxford University and it was gaining a First Class BA (Hons) degree there which subsequently allowed him entry to Trinity Hall, Cambridge. It was at Cambridge University, studying for his doctorate, where he really began to attract a reputation for brilliance despite being diagnosed with Motor-Neuron Disease and only being given 2 years to live during his time there (Professor Hawking is now in his early seventies of course).
Hawking’s groundbreaking university thesis borrowed from Roger Penrose‘s theorem which described a ‘spacetime singularity’ being present in the centre of black holes. There, time was thought of as the ‘4th dimension’, the other three dimensions being the standard ones of length, width and height. Hawking’s thesis took this theorem a step further by applying the same kind of thinking to the entire Universe. As Hawking’s university Professor in the film says, this was ‘Brilliant … brilliant … superb … an extraordinary theory”. The thesis gained him a prestigious Adams Prize that year as well as leading to a confirmed doctorate (PhD) in cosmology (March 1966).
Professor Hawking later went on to collaborate with Roger Penrose in order to further develop the singularity theorem originally discussed in his university thesis. This lead to the theory that the Universe itself might have begun as a singularity. Hawking also later made a name for himself with his theories about black hole dynamics, quantum gravity and quantum mechanics. His work in these areas deduced that black holes emit radiation (now known as Hawking Radiation) this being the case until they exhaust their energy. This theory, although at the time highly controversial, has now been widely accepted and represents yet another breakthrough in theoretical physics. Here, though, we are only scratching the surface of this extraordinary individual’s career. His continuing research and evolving theories are truly mind-blowing as you can learn here.
Of course, for those still at university, your undergraduate or doctoral thesis or dissertation is likely to be one of your main areas of focus. Who can say which thesis and which student will come up with something truly ground-breaking like Stephen Hawking did … but it’s sure to happen and, who knows; it could be you!
If you need printing and binding for your university thesis, we would be delighted to help. At The Document Centre in London SE1, we are specialists who print (if required) and bind university dissertations and theses, to the individual specification demanded by each university. We have a full online ordering system where you can upload your thesis as a PDF, select which options you require, add a quantity, choose from various optional extras, decide on one or more delivery addresses and either pay there and then online or select ‘pay on collection’ option to later pay at our London shop. We even deliver printed and bound theses free of charge to some London universities. Learn more about our thesis and dissertation printing and binding service here or call 020 7928 9738 for further details.