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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


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.


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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626 - 650 of 984 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By shubham m

Oct 18, 2017

Very well taught and will definitely increase viewer's interest in theoretical physics.

By Pierre M

Jun 21, 2020

Very detailed content and many examples. I learned a lot in an always entertaining way.

By Chamara N S

Sep 5, 2018

Great to begin to learn special theory of relativity. Love the way of everything flows.

By Rene G

May 23, 2018

second time in my life I had a course at this level of clarity.

Extremely gifted teacher

By Anton G

Feb 23, 2017

great course.just enough math .repition of key points really helped.will miss it.thanks

By Adesh P

Sep 23, 2017

Although the lectures get a bit repetitive, the course is still awesome! Thanks a lot!


Jan 11, 2020

This course provides a fundamental understanding of the Special Theory of Relativity.

By Brett W

Jan 20, 2019

Sometimes a little too thorough on the explanations, but overall an excellent course.

By Peter B

Jul 6, 2022

well presented accessible to those with high school maths

focused on understanding

By Marc F

Apr 27, 2020

Un cours clair, précis qui permet de comprendre intimement les bases de la théorie.

By Jose S

Dec 10, 2016

An experience of discovery into the perspective of 1905, and the path of reasoning.

By B H C

Feb 4, 2020

Very well done, and reasonable amount of information delivered at the right pace.

By Paul G P

Jun 28, 2020

Great introduction to Special Theory of Relativity. Challenging yet accessible.

By Frank V M

Feb 24, 2017

This course goes straight to the point. Now I have a better understanding of STR

By Maryam A

Aug 29, 2021

An excellent introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity and so much more!

By Mike G

Sep 19, 2020

Very interesting course which gave me some interesting insights into the topic.

By Vedant G

May 4, 2019

Great course at beginner level. Creates foundation and interest to dive deeper.

By Andrew B

Sep 30, 2018

Larry is a fantastic teacher and makes the subject matter easier to understand.

By Tun L A

Sep 5, 2017

Excellent and most complete course concerning The Special Theory of Relativity.

By Alexandria B

Mar 1, 2017

100% recommend for anyone who enjoys the fun implications of higher-level math!

By Meir S

Apr 5, 2018

A very easy way to learn a very complicated theory

It's slow but very thorough

By Beril K

Aug 5, 2017

I'm at 7th week of this course and so far I've truly enjoyed and learnt a lot!

By Lluis O

Dec 5, 2016

Larry R Lagerstrom is an extraordinay instructor, for an extraordinary course.

By Enrico F

Oct 10, 2022

Excellent course. Excellent way of teaching. Excellent Professor. Thank you.