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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity by Stanford University

2,302 ratings
794 reviews

About the Course

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? About the instructor: Dr. Larry Lagerstrom is the Director of Academic Programs at Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development, which offers graduate certificates in subjects such as artificial intelligence, cyber security, data mining, nanotechnology, innovation, and management science. He holds degrees in physics, mathematics, and the history of science, has published a book and a TED Ed video on "Young Einstein: From the Doxerl Affair to the Miracle Year," and has had over 30,000 students worldwide enroll in his online course on the special theory of relativity (this course!)....

Top reviews

Dec 8, 2019

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.

Mar 21, 2020

Thanks for helping me understand the Special Theory of Relativity, covered a lot of ground but repeated it so it really could sink in. Like your style and want to thank you for your assistance. Thanks

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376 - 400 of 780 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Paolo L R

Nov 25, 2017

very interesting course, it convers the basics of the theory of relativity, also putting it in an historical context, outstanding teacher

By Rady M R

Jun 18, 2017

This course is excellent, Improve the critical thinking and the understanding to the basic concepts of the relativity and it's philosophy.

By Gonzalo E Á

Oct 8, 2020

Great introductory course. Videos are crystal clear and the professor has a great hability to catch and keep your attention every minute.

By aida t

Jul 22, 2020

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity, looking forward for more courses hopefully General Relativity from the same instructor.

By Abdessamad M

May 10, 2019

Excellent course. it explained the theory in a comprehensive way and shed light on many dark corners of this science. It helped me a lot.

By Michael F

Jan 22, 2018

Simply OUTSTANDING! Well designed, clear, fun, easy to follow and tremendously beneficial to my ongoing thirst to understanding reality.

By Michelle L

Aug 16, 2020

Great course for anyone interested and intellectually curious! Very detailed and thorough even at a basic level! Would highly recommend!

By Riccardo C

Apr 28, 2019

The best course I have attended so far! The Lecturer was very clear and easy to follow despite the themes explained are not easy at all!

By Chan H Y

Nov 1, 2018

The pace of week1-week3 are too slow for learners with well science / mathematics background.

All parts of the course are well explained.

By Eric

Feb 13, 2018

Well organized and described - Each section can add to one's appreciation for the basic physics behind the special theory of relativity.

By Sherbaj T

Jul 8, 2020

The Way Instructor Had Arranged And Explained The Concepts Is Love. Thanks To And Instructor - Larry Randles Lagerstrom And Coursera :)

By Norah F

Feb 26, 2021

It's been an incredible jorney. I've had so much fun doing this course and it brought me a different way to see the beauty of physics.

By Ethan E

Nov 8, 2020

Superb, this course is definitely congenial to one who likes to learn about physics. It has been a pleasure to participate from London

By Sebastián R

Aug 13, 2020

Excelente curso. el profesor es muy bueno y los ejemplos didácticos para entender de forma práctica la teoría de relatividad especial.

By Antonova E

Jul 15, 2020

Thank you very match! It was really interesting course! I found out a lot of new amazing information about time and physics generally.


Jul 14, 2020

Fantastic course! I was able to complete it without a strong math background! the Instructor is very thorough and very easy to follow!

By Pritish J

Apr 3, 2020

Excellent course and loved the way Prof. delivered the course. Wish he could take up a course in General Theory of Relativity as well.

By shubham k

Sep 16, 2017

This course is awesome . The lectures provided by the Stanford is very helpful. Our professor is also very helpful and encouraging.

By Steve B

Jan 3, 2017

A enjoyable and well laid out course, mathematics level: high school, some rigorous algebraic proofs though not essential to pass.

By Parker R M

Jul 16, 2020

Excellent course, very informative and interesting - even without a math/physics background, I feel I've taken a lot away from it.

By Raphael R

Nov 11, 2018

This material is probably the best explanation currently available for anyone and allows for intuitive understanding of the Theory

By Laurel L

Feb 5, 2021

Explained concepts so well and the math was understandable because the instructor didn't take any shortcuts in his explanations.

By Gary

Nov 22, 2020

Excellent course presented by a very clear competent instructor. If I can grasp the concepts and the math just about anyone can.

By Pam E

Aug 20, 2017

An excellent course with great videos explaining the concepts at a level and pace that could be understood. Thank you very much.