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

2,871 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


Aug 11, 2020

It was wonderful experience to know the special theory of relativity from Larry, who has presented the course in very simple way to understand. Thanks a lot to Larry for providing such a good session.


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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601 - 625 of 984 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Joaquín M L

Jul 5, 2018

Great in contents and rhythm. Using just a board! English easy to follow for no-native speakers.

By Ishaan M

Feb 18, 2018

It is one of the best courses on courser. I enjoyed it a lot as well as learned some new things.

By alexander g

Jan 14, 2018

Great course! very well organised and the teacher does a really good job at explaining concepts.

By Enam H

Jun 26, 2022

A thoroughly enjoyable course! This was my first course on Coursera, and I absolutely loved it!

By Marroux

May 28, 2022

Perfect course. The explanations are clear and the speaker knows how to make the course lively.

By Nur H

Mar 6, 2021

I really like how Randles describes. very helpful to understand this course. Thank you so much.

By Alexander L

Aug 7, 2018

There is certainly more to Einstein than merely his theories of special and general relativity.

By Philippe R

May 26, 2017

Very nice introduction to Einsteins work and the theory of relativity. I can only recommend it.

By Wissal B

May 11, 2022

C'était une très grande opportunité d'approfondir les connaissances en relativité restreinte !

By Ahmad E

Jan 28, 2022

I always read about relativity but it is the first time that I have really grasped the concept

By Vladimir S

Apr 29, 2021

Maybe a tad more simplistic than I would prefer, but still very well structured and presented.

By Mark D

Dec 31, 2020

The course was very helpful to understand the foundation of the special theory of relativity.

By Maria B

Jun 27, 2017

Absolutely loved this course! I highly recommend it for everyone who is interested in physics

By Vedika L

Dec 7, 2016

Amazing course, but the videos can be shorter as same concepts are explained more than once.

By Michael F

Aug 17, 2017

Great course, I now know the Special Theory of Relativity well enough to teach it to others!

By 韩梓桦

Jul 24, 2017

these lectures are very good and contain lots of details that I cannot read in my textbook,!

By Arjun K

May 26, 2021

Very precise and thorough yet simple explanation of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity

By Juan C V O

Sep 14, 2019

Excelent course, easy explanations for complicated arguments. The quizes were very helpful

By Jennifer S

Mar 18, 2017

Excellent Course!! The instructor took abstruse concepts and made them accessible and fun!

By Oleksii K

Oct 2, 2017

Very interesting course. It gave me a basic understanding of Special theory of relativity.

By Darius K

Apr 30, 2017

Fantastic course that is designed for anyone with at least basic knowledge of mathematics.

By Hassaan A

Jan 24, 2022

Covers a very wide range of topics in a very well put together and understandable manner.

By Michael R

Jan 7, 2018

I did not know physics could be so easy.

A really great course but the lecturer is better.

By Rodolfo N

Jan 30, 2020

Great course! Finally understood how to interpret the principles of Special Relativity.

By Daniel P S d S

Mar 22, 2018

The teacher is great. He explains all the concepts very well. It was a wonderful course.