There were similar developments in many other continental European universities, and at least until reforms in the early 21st century many European countries (. Belgium, Spain, and the Scandinavian countries) had in all faculties triple degree structures of bachelor (or candidate) − licentiate − doctor as opposed to bachelor − master − doctor; the meaning of the different degrees varied a lot from country to country however. To this day this is also still the case for the pontifical degrees in theology and canon law: for instance, in Sacred theology the degrees are Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB), Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL), and Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD), and in Canon law : Bachelor of Canon Law (JCB), Licentiate of Canon Law (JCL), and Doctor of Canon Law (JCD).
After these equations were published, other scientists used them to explore what happens to spacetime in different physical situations. In the case of objects where all the matter is concentrated into a single point, the field equations predict something unusual: the curvature of spacetime becomes so extreme that even light cannot escape. Today we know these objects actually exist as black holes, and we’ve since found evidence for them in space.
These situations where the solutions to the equations become infinite are called “singularities." Hawking’s final thesis chapter explored this idea of singularities, not for the spacetime around black holes, but for the entire universe.