“David Lee Rector’s Ph.D. Thesis is just nine pages long plus bio and bibliography, not to mention double-spaced.”
[Source & Photo Credit: Ali Almossawi]
You have probably seen thick dissertations, too heavy to lift with one hand… but have you ever thought of how short a PhD dissertation can possibly be?
Well, John Edensor Littlewood once famously inquired “whether a dissertation of 2 lines could deserve and get a Fellowship” – and he seems to have meant it.
Interestingly, some of the world’s shortest PhD theses / dissertations also count among the most famous ones at the same time. Here are the Top 5 we could identify:
24 pages – John F. Nash: Non-Cooperative Games (1950)
17 pages – Albert Einstein: A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions (1905)
13 pages – Burt Totaro: Milnor K-Theory is the Simplest Part of Algebraic K-Theory (1992)
9 pages – David Lee Rector: An Unstable Adams Spectral Sequence (1966)
Please drop us a line if you know any shorter dissertations than the ones above!