Stephen Hawking's thesis sold at a record auction price

Stephen Hawking's thesis sold at a record auction price

The famous astrophysicist's thesis, entitled "The properties of expanding universes"was sold for 548,750 pounds sterling (671,460 euros), nearly four times its estimated price, at an online sale organized by Christie's which ended Thursday, November 8, 2018.

Several lots at auction

A young Cambridge student, Stephen Hawking had published his thesis in 1965, two years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Charcot's disease, which had progressively paralyzed and confined him to a wheelchair. It was his first wife, Jane, who typed the 117 pages of his thesis. But Stephen Hawking had himself added, hesitantly, his signature and the words "This thesis is my original work", as well as several mathematical equations.

The text, put online last year by the University of Cambridge, had prompted such a request that he had temporarily rendered inaccessible the university's website. The red leather wheelchair with which the physicist was moving at the end of the 1980s and he was driving with a joystick, was awarded nearly 300,000 pounds (344,000 euros) to a charity. It had been estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds (11,200 and 16,800 euros).

A batch of medals and awards received by Stephen Hawking also came close to 300,000 pounds. A total of 22 lots were offered for sale, including personal items and some of the scientific articles that made the researcher's reputation, as well as a script of an episode of the 2009 "The Simpsons" series that sold £ 6,250 (€ 7,170). The scientist, featured in the series as "the smartest man in the world," had appeared in four episodes of The Simpsons. So many memories that reflect the determination and sense of humor of Stephen Hawking, who passed away on March 14 at the age of 76, after dedicating his life to trying to unravel the secrets of the universe.

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