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
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.
By Alex C•
Really lovely course! I studied mathematical physics at edinburgh and we of course covered special relativity. I believe it was 2 lectures! Sort of heres the lorentz transformation and heres some calculus and some problems...there ya go. I was utterly disappointed. Now i feel i have learnt something! I took the course as I have moved flats to now live approximately 50 metres away from Einsteins flat in Bern, and i realized despite having studied physics i knew almost nothing about einstein! Many many thanks!
By Wai H C•
Excellent course, covering a basic fundamental understanding of special relativity and the historical context within which Einstein made his discovery. The math required to understand the concepts are also straightforward high/secondary school level math. I took this as a refresher, having took a class back in undergrad college on the same subject and it helped me recall the core concepts of the subject. Recommended as an excellent introduction for anyone interested in physical science in general
By Nancy B•
Extremely interesting course. It is challenging but Dr. Lagerstrom's pledge to "make haste slowly" benefits students and covers the material thoroughly. The material is presented from a variety of viewpoints, which should make the concepts clear for everyone. The amount of data covered is impressive. It illustrates the degree to which Einstein had command of his subject matter. I will likely never use the information presented in this course but I'm really glad I took the journey to acquire it.
Thank you so much, I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Larry is brilliant. All the mathematics were just right for me and the historical considerations perfect for a short course. I shall continue to read through my personal 'Einstein' library. Oh and Larry I loved your 'Young Einstein' book. I am now looking for another similar style of course.
My certificate is framed and up on the wall in the kitchen. I would have liked the title of the course to have been much bigger and bolder. Thanks again.
By Lawrence K•
I really thoroughly enjoyed this course. I felt that Professor Lagerstrom is an excellent teacher who made the complex much easier to understand. I particularly liked the “class notes” and his philosophy of Festina lente - make haste slowly.
In college many years ago this whole subject was too mind bending for me to approach so my education when I other directions. It is nice that so many years later I could revisit that challenge a gain a better understanding. Thank you so much for that.
By PRABIR A•
Awesome experience! The complex theory is presented and taught by Professor through so many video-lectures with examples and explaining so nicely that I was engrossed totally and completed successfully in advance. There are quizzes at the end of each section - this helped me to understand the subject thoroughly. This is my best experience in online learning. Knowledge on the subject, efforts, and presentation by respected Professor is highly commendable, My whole-hearted regards to him!
By Xin H•
Professor Lagerstrom takes it slow to approach the theory, making it available to anyone with very basic math skills. While the equations are important, building the mental model around the strange world is way more essential to comprehending the special theory of relativity, and that is where this course shines. Professor Lagerstrom will look at the same problem in many different angles, cross referencing between them constantly, making sure the fundamentals of the theory sinks in.
By Douglas R•
Oddly, given subject matter, this is a very old school course - professor lecturing before a white board. Yet it works! I finally understand the Special Theory of Relativity and am convinced that time dilation and length contraction are real. Course is well paced. Outlines provided for taking notes for each session are very helpful. Quizzes and tests are appropriate. Highly recommend to anyone who has ever wondered if on might actually travel to another galaxy and return alive.
By David G•
Professor Lagerstrom presented Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in a "simplicity beyond complexity" kind of way. His examples to demonstrate the principles were outstanding in reinforcing the learning experience. The historical context and Einstein's quotations throughout the course added much appreciated entertainment to the challenging content. Professor Lagerstrom's humility and care for his students were so encouraging. Thanks so much, Professor Lagerstrom!
By Michael B•
This is truly one of the more interesting (and fun) courses at Coursera. The presenter takes the student step by step through the intricacies of understanding the special theory of relativity such that, even with a very limited background in math and physics, you will be able to appreciate the impact this theory had on scientific thinking back when it was published and how it, and its 'big brother, the general theory of relativity, shape scientific endeavors presently.
By Dr. S R•
The wonderful presentation of the origin and comprehensive concepts of this special theory of relativity with good examples and problems by Professor Larry Langstrom, is beyond and excellent and would rate the best by a physics professor. I would love to attend the general theory of relativity course if run(?), by him in the future, kindly inform. I rate this course 5 stars if that's the limit of stars one needs to put for an appreciation/rating.
-Dr S S Raghuwanshi
By Titas C•
This course is the best place to learn the concepts of special relativity as a beginner. The instructor is awesome. Although he goes quite slow, it helps because the concepts in the latter part of the course are counter-intuitive and may need a bit of time to be understood. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning more about the principles of relativity. I hope to see a general relativity course taught by this professor soon!!!
By Carlos G•
A very thorough and complete explanation of the Special Relativity theory. Finally a really good pedagogical approach is used to explain to plain people like me concepts that are proven for more than a century but still a mystery for most. Having very important scientific concepts explained to our society can mitigate the terrible challenges we shall confront in the coming decades.
Thank you very much to Stanford University and specially to Dr Lagerstrom.
By Dario K•
Amazing course! Great pace, starting slowly from the basics and advancing step by step, building up to understand the Special Theory of Relativity to a level that I find is (much) more than good enough for someone who's just curious about it. Math included but, again, it is presented step by step so it's easy to follow even for someone with not much scientific background.
Really wish a part 2 with General Relativity taught by same professor would come :)
By Allan B•
About sixty years ago, I remember discussing the various formulas regarding special relativity in one of my advanced college physics courses. There was very little background presented regarding the historical development of the formulas (e.g. Lorentz transformation, Gamma). I really enjoyed the time spent on the space time diagrams. Those diagrams have provided me with a much deeper understanding of the foundational elements of special relativity.
By Patrick F•
It is amazing to have access to such an interesting, well taught class through this free app. Prfessor Lagerstrom takes material that is often considered extremely difficult and explains it in such clear and concise terms that it can be understood by just about anyone. The required math is not much beyond basiic algebra and you can come away with a much deeper understanding of the way the universe works as well as a nice look at Einstein as a person.
By Thierry C•
It’s been like watching a good movie or reading an absorbing book; it ended too soon.
I'd say the course gives a large enough insight to the special theory of relativity with the right final touch on the general theory to complete the basic understanding, and maybe to get the audience hooked for the next release. I’ve taken the bait.
Finally a genuine thanks to the instructor Larry Randles Lagerstrom and his team for the contents and their dedication
By Javier S•
I would like to congratulate Mr. Randles for the magnificent explanations through out the course. He makes things very clear to the student with such a little resources. I really enjoy the course.
For me, as a beginner on this subject, the journey from week 1 to week 8 is perfect. Good practical information, good organization and plenty of references to continue learning.
Thank you for the opportunity of approaching Einstein and his work!
By Charles H•
This was a very enjoyable and revealing course, covering what at first may appear to be a somewhat impenetrable subject. But the step by step approach and sensible progression of topics made the subject matter easily understandable, and the obtaining of that understanding a joyful and insightful experience. It can't be easy to teach such a course to camera, so big thanks to Larry Randells Lagerstrom.... he definitely deserves a strong lager!!
By Steven S•
I would highly recommend this course to anyone with a general interest in Einstein and special relativity. The presentations by Professor Lagerstrom were exceptionally good. The material was presented in a well paced manner with great explanations of somewhat esoteric ideas. I also really enjoyed the historical narrative of Einstein's life before and after the "miracle year". It was so good I am almost tempted to go through the course again!
By Henri d L•
A fabulous course giving great notions and ideas of how things operate in the universe. Beyond the interesting part of this class, you will get a noteworthy approach enabling all to understand how things came out to be discovered. I think it makes sciences more accessible and anchored in the reality of our lives. Anyway, I loved it, the teacher is outstanding. It will be useful for my 12th grade in France and most importantly my future!
By Paresh V•
This was not just a course, but an experience in learning. The professor took us through a journey of learning about a topic very difficult understand, and patiently led us through the learning experience with right amount of maths and excellent use of examples, quotes etc., to keep the interest alive all through. I wonder if some such course on General Theory of Relativity can be there, even if that is perhaps more mathematical.
By Mark M•
I did the course because I had developed an interest in cosmology and felt the need for understanding Einstein theories. The course did this for me and also gave me insights into how scientists work. As a big picture thinker, I have limited patience for detail. The instructor, in addition to having extensive knowledge of the subject matter, is also a good educator and and thorough teacher. So well done and keep up the good work!
By Chris D L•
This was an excellent course about The Special Theory of Relativity. The topics were explained in a way that was easy to grasp with minimal math (mostly algebra). If there's one thing to be improved for this course is to make this a 10-week course. Weeks 5 and 6 were quite long and anyone who is even slightly busy with other things in life will struggle to finish them on time. That's all. All else considered, I learned a lot!
By Maria E H•
This course is superb! The professor explains complicated concepts and mathematical equations in the simplest manner possible. I learned a ton!
Note: the course keeps mathematics at a minimum, so if you want a quantitative approach to the Special Theory of Relativity, this is not for you. However, even if you are looking for a quantitative approach, this course will enhance your conceptual understanding of Einstein's theory.