In this course we will seek to “understand Einstein,” especially focusing on the special theory of relativity that Albert Einstein, as a twenty-six year old patent clerk, introduced in his “miracle year” of 1905. Our goal will be to go behind the myth-making and beyond the popularized presentations of relativity in order to gain a deeper understanding of both Einstein the person and the concepts, predictions, and strange paradoxes of his theory. Some of the questions we will address include: How did Einstein come up with his ideas? What was the nature of his genius? What is the meaning of relativity? What’s “special” about the special theory of relativity? Why did the theory initially seem to be dead on arrival? What does it mean to say that time is the “fourth dimension”? Can time actually run more slowly for one person than another, and the size of things change depending on their velocity? Is time travel possible, and if so, how? Why can’t things travel faster than the speed of light? Is it possible to travel to the center of the galaxy and return in one lifetime? Is there any evidence that definitively confirms the theory, or is it mainly speculation? Why didn’t Einstein win the Nobel Prize for the theory of relativity?
Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of RelativityStanford University
About this Course
Syllabus - What you will learn from this course
Introduction to the Course, and Einstein in Context
Events, Clocks, and Reference Frames
Ethereal Problems and Solutions
The Weirdness Begins
- 5 stars90.67%
- 4 stars7.96%
- 3 stars0.80%
- 2 stars0.20%
- 1 star0.34%
TOP REVIEWS FROM UNDERSTANDING EINSTEIN: THE SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY
It is an excellent course. Just the right thing for a person who truly wants to understand the basics of the Special Theory of Relativity. The teaching style of the instructor is also amazing.
Thanks to Professor Lagerstrom for his patient and clear way of teaching and explaining things. Looking forward for a course on General Theory of Relativity tought buy him.
Almost anyone can learn about the special theory of relativity from these lectures. I actually can't believe that I studied from a professor who teaches in the USA and in so simple way. I am grateful.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. The knowledge I have gained is something that I will treasure and will propel me to keep studying and trying to understand our wonderful universe.
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