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?

Offered By

## Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

Stanford University## About this Course

## Offered by

## Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

**5 hours to complete**

### Introduction to the Course, and Einstein in Context

**5 hours to complete**

**11 hours to complete**

### Events, Clocks, and Reference Frames

**11 hours to complete**

**10 hours to complete**

### Ethereal Problems and Solutions

**10 hours to complete**

**12 hours to complete**

### The Weirdness Begins

**12 hours to complete**

## Reviews

- 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.

professor Lagerstrom, through his patience and teaching gave me actual feeling of what is going on. The course has given a foundation from which a more in depth studies can be built upon.

This course was really interesting and the Professor was excellent. Thanks to the professor and the mentors too as they took their time to clarify the doubts of the learners via the discussion page.

This is one of the most wonderful course that I have ever found on Coursera. The course take a simple and realistic approach to explain the concepts evolved in Special theory of Relativity.

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