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

2,872 ratings

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


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


Jun 22, 2017

This course is very comprehensive and well prepared material for understanding the Special Theory of Relativity. Larry (the instructor) is very expert and has broad knowledge in explaining the course.

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676 - 700 of 984 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Paul V

Aug 30, 2018

Right now I understand what Dr. Einstein is talking about. Hats off to

By Neoprana S

Apr 25, 2017

I have never felt so enthusiastic to study anything in my entire life!

By Chavarria G

Nov 28, 2020

So easy to understand, thank you very much. I enjoy the explanations.

By Pahul K

Jun 20, 2020

Best leactures i have ever attended in my life.

Thank you so much sir.

By Lucia R M

Nov 8, 2018

larry was a great teacher and i really enjoyed this course! thank you

By Manav S

Apr 6, 2021

it is a excellent course to start your dive in theory of relativity

By Prabhanjan T

Jun 13, 2018

Awesome course. Anyone interested in Special Relativity must do it.

By Rafid B

Sep 17, 2020

This course is wonderful, and the teacher is excellent. Thank you!

By angelo z

Jun 16, 2020

"the struggle to understand can be an ennobling experience" (cit.)

By Rahul M

Jul 5, 2019

superb course from a professor who makes such a tough topic simple

By Kantaphat P

Aug 28, 2018

Very thoughtful and interesting. Also not very hard to understand.

By Daniel B

Jun 24, 2018

Great course that was really interesting and thoroughly explained.

By Luisa M A

Apr 5, 2018

Excellent to make a sense and appreciate the beauty of this theory

By Emily d B

Jun 19, 2017

Very well taught! Clear explanations and very interesting subject.

By Dalius G

May 3, 2018

Simple, objective, informative. Amazing course, thanks Coursera !

By 송준현

Jul 4, 2021

It is a great lecture. Highly recommendable introductory course.

By Jaime D S O

Aug 10, 2020

The course was very good and the teacher was very clear, thanks!

By Timothy H

Jul 3, 2018

Really informative and mostly simplified for most to understand.

By Amir E

Mar 13, 2018

This was an exceptional experience. Thank you, Prof. Lagerstrom!

By William M

Jan 3, 2018

this is an excellent and interesting introduction to the subject

By Alexandros P

Jan 3, 2019

Excellent course. Very well structured and stimulating content.

By Fabio P

Jan 23, 2018

Excellent, these important concepts finally seem to make sense.

By Ingeborg B

Jan 4, 2017

This is a very good course! any thanks to professor Lagerstrom.

By Alejandro L

Aug 31, 2021

With special gratitude to Prof. Randles Lagerstrom. Brilliant.

By Massimo B

May 7, 2020

Very well explained course, thank's to Prof. Larry Lagerstrom.