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

2,869 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.


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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26 - 50 of 984 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Tapeesh k

Jan 27, 2019

Exceptionally good course.

This is the first course I paid for verified certificate and finished in 3 weeks instead of 6. It was almost like detective novel. I could not wait to see what happens next.

Dr Lagerstrom took his time explaining everything slowly.

I wish he will do a course on general theory of relativity too.

By Natalia C

May 24, 2020

I congratulate Stanford University and Coursera for let students have this course for free. I congratulate instructor Randles for being an excellent professor. I am completely new in this topic but I have been engrossed in it due to the awesome explanations and material. Thanks.

By Thomas K

Oct 7, 2019

The professor was simply excellent: well-organized and articulate. The quizzes test your knowledge of what is taught in the lectures. My only complaint was that the textbook that was suggested ("Spacetime Physics") is now out of print.

By Steve G

Aug 22, 2021

I am really pleased to have come across such a well constructed and presented course. It was challenging in many respects but the tutor was aware of that and found the right level of detail and complexity. Thank you.


Jul 7, 2019

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.

By ujjwal d

Sep 10, 2021

Amazing course on Einstein and his theory STR, Larry is an amazing instructor. This course helps me to complete my research about STR. Thanks to Justin for answering my all questions

By Jess C

Nov 9, 2019

A good balance of qualitative and quantitative elements. Perfect for someone who is interested in the Special Theory of Relativity but did not get enough from introductory books.

By Arnaud D

Nov 10, 2018

The course covers the base of special theory of relativity, as well as historical background. The course is easy to follow. The assements are easy also. Really enjoyable course !


Nov 27, 2019

this course gave me more curiosity about einsten, (even though I haven't completed it yet :)) if you are interested in einstein and his theory, I suggest you take a look

By Shivam

Aug 25, 2021

If you have no idea of relativity and wanna get a good foundation this couse is perfect. Thanks, Coursera, Stanford and especially Professor Larry Randles Lagerstrom.

By Ibrahim U

Oct 22, 2019

Each concept is lucidly explained with full context given behind each contest. Recommend everybody to give it a try!!

By Daniel P

Nov 2, 2019

Es un curso largo y lento pero permite aprender los fundamentos de la teoria y retenerlos para siempre. Buen curso.

By Durairaj R

Dec 31, 2017

got to know a lot with concise and yet detailed explaination with simple requirements of mathematics and physics.

By Abanoub S

Dec 29, 2021

thanks a lot, all credits to Dr.Larry Randles Lagerstrom and Coursera team

By Gefei L

Nov 19, 2019

Easy to comprehend for people with non-science background. Great course!

By Akarsha S

Dec 17, 2018

Interesting course. Professor is thorough and explained it brilliantly.

By Rene J

Nov 17, 2018

I just happen to think that Larry is a splendid lecturer, (as it were)

By Michael D

Dec 6, 2019

Great course - well structured, and expertly guided.

By Abhishek P

Oct 24, 2019

Amazing course teaches a lot about the universe.


Oct 3, 2019

The most complicated theory was made very easy.

By Parthip P

Oct 10, 2019

it is a very interesting and unique chapter

By Vasurva W

Dec 25, 2019

I like the way the instructor explains.

By Ankit S S

Dec 19, 2019

wonderful!! more than as expected

By Mothis W

Dec 23, 2019

Good place to learn

By 林辰昕

Nov 10, 2019

Everything's nice.