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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


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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801 - 825 of 984 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Mitank D

May 25, 2017

Really this is a fantastic course.

By Igor P

May 21, 2017

Very interesting and all is clear.

By Anabela Z

Aug 3, 2021

A wonderful course and professor!


Jan 22, 2021

Great teacher, interesting topic.

By Carlos S

Sep 11, 2020

Excellent course, vey interesting

By Harish R

Jul 16, 2020

Very good course! Learned a lot!!

By Ashwin M N

Jul 4, 2020

perfect course for all physicists

By Apostolos C

Nov 12, 2016

Excellent, "accessible" lectures.

By Ragnar L

Apr 3, 2021

Clear, concise, excellent course

By Ali C g

May 23, 2017

it is a great course. Thank you!

By yiyi y

Oct 4, 2016

Great course, awesome instructor

By Marcel W

Mar 9, 2018

Great Intro to Einsteins ideas.

By Harold N

Feb 27, 2018

Very clear and well presented.

By Hight P

Oct 14, 2016

it is really amazing and fun !

By Kathleen R

Apr 6, 2022

the instructor was excellent!

By António R

Jan 24, 2021

Great course, well explained.

By Sean G

Jan 16, 2019



Jan 24, 2017

A great exercise in thinking.

By Xiaoyuan C

Dec 16, 2020

Fabulous beyond my language!

By Joergen B

Nov 5, 2018

Best course I ever attended.

By Tahsin A

Feb 18, 2021

Wonderful course, loved it!

By Ana L

Nov 29, 2016


By David Z

Nov 28, 2021

Everything was wonderful.

By Souradeep D

Jul 7, 2020

This course is wonderful.

By 董博文

Jan 20, 2020