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

4.9
stars
2,185 ratings
743 reviews

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

SS
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.

AP
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.

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176 - 200 of 731 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Mohamed R

Jul 22, 2017

One of the best courses i have ever taken it uses simple everyday language,also it is great for those who want to take a quantitative approach to the whole concept of relativity.This course also features one of the best if not the best professor of physics that ever taught to me .

By Shannon L

Feb 26, 2017

Larry is the best-I highly recommend! I loved this course and really enjoyed exploring these concepts. It is very well put together in a way that gives you time to ponder and try to truly understand the theory before getting to the "cool stuff." I will miss this weekly adventure!

By Bee_r

Mar 26, 2017

Amazing,thanks very much for your professional and responsible in teaching.

I am always having the curiosity about Einstein,so i hope maybe someday you can give us the curriculum on his general theory of relativity.

Thanks again for all the courses i've learned from your teaching.

By Pratham S

Jul 30, 2019

Lovely course. A well taught and elaborate explanation of the Special Theory of Relativity. Also an insight into Einstein life and how he came up with his theories in different sectors and the 5 famous papers of 1905.

A must for every physics, astronomy and aerospace enthusiast.

By Vivien T

Sep 24, 2016

Excellent course which presents the special theory of relativity in a very clear and accessible manner and also explains well the scientific, technological and biographical context of this discovery. I warmly recommend this course. Congratulations and thanks to Larry Lagerstrom

By Marcos P O

Jan 13, 2020

Excellent course. Although I'm not into this kind of science, I've managed to finally understand it. If I can, you can. You can do the course with calculations or without calculations. Anyway, I've you are curious about the subject, just take it. Thanks to the Coursera team.

By Juan S M F

Jun 22, 2018

Muchas gracias profesor por el curso expuesto. Me ha encantado, su forma de explicar es maravillosa. Me he motivado de gran manera para profundizar el conocimiento entregado. Muy agradable su forma de compartir el conocimiento. Gracias a Coursera por dar este tipo de cursos!

By muhamed n a

Sep 18, 2017

great course and great instructor i deeply understood the special theory of relativity

1- very well organized , from simple to complex gradually

2-detailed

3 -persuasive , full of examples and logic arguments

4- clear effort and patience of this great lecturer

3- gradual

By Ray G

Sep 25, 2020

I have really enjoyed this course, the lecturer "Larry Randles Lagerstrom" presented the course in a clear and concise way. The presentations and examples used where in easy to follow steps, which supported my learning styles...... A big thank you to Lary and the team.....

By Jordi T

Jun 14, 2019

This course is very comprehensive and it is also very well prepared in order to have a progressive understanding of the theory of the special relativity. Lectures made by the instructor are very interesting and you can get addicted as if you were watching a Netflix series.

By ACADEMAN

Jul 24, 2017

THE COURSE WAS A DELIGHT! MR. LAGERSTROM WAS AN EXCELLENT INSTRUCTOR. IT WAS A REAL PLEASURE TO SIT IN ON HIS LECTURES EACH DAY AND LEARN A DIFFICULT SUBJECT. I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS COURSE TO ANYONE WITHOUT HESITATION. THANK YOU MR. LAGERSTROM FOR A TRULY WELL DONE COURSE.

By Bruno M

Apr 1, 2018

Thank you very much to Professor Lagerstrom for sharing his knowledge publicly for the benefit of others. This is a fantastic course for learning the concepts of the special theory of relativity. Highly recommended if you are getting started or getting back into physics.

By Pierangela M

Apr 5, 2018

This course is organized very well, and useful handouts are provided. The lectures are very easy to follow clear despite the difficulties of the topic. An historical and Philosophical contest helps to understand better the arise and development of these beautiful theory.

By Rohit B

Jul 8, 2017

A brilliant course presented with knowledge and passion by Prof. Lagerstrom. It is very easy with minimal dependence on Mathematics. It certainly has inspired me to follow on to learn more about the Special and General theories. Thank you for providing the list of texts.

By Dipraj C J

Aug 3, 2019

This is so helpful for those who wanna understand our universe and who are not learning in college for that...it helped a lot for my curiosity. Thanks to sir Larry, he has put so much efforts to let us understand what is needed...again thank you Larry Sir and Coursera.

By Cris P

Mar 4, 2017

Excellent course. Prof. Lagerstrom provided detailed explanation regarding the special theory of relativity in a very simple and understanding manner. I hope to attend more courses from the good professor soon. Thank you for sharing your knowledge to us, sir. Kudos.

By Bilal H K

Aug 4, 2017

exceptional introductory course to review and revisit the basic fundamentals notions about the relative motion and Einsteins special relativity ,hats off to instructor for making it look simple and interesting carry on the noble cause of spreading knowledge. Thanks

By Owen L

Aug 9, 2020

Great course, highly recommended. Very engaging instructor (at 1.25x speed at least), fascinating topic covered in-depth.

I really enjoyed the organization and structure - the quizzes were effective, and the handouts were a great way to keep my thoughts organized.

By Carlos H

Sep 12, 2020

I enjoyed a lot the course, knowing very little about relativity, this course explains me in a very gently manner the principles of special relativity, it is an excelent choice for beginners who wants to learn and for people with background who wants to remember.

By SAMMYAK S

Jun 22, 2018

Great Course for those who want to study the basics of special theory of relativity qualitatively, without scratching their heads too much. Math involved is of higher secondary school level and shouldn't be a problem for people with a non mathematical background.

By Sumit B

Jun 10, 2017

Ennobling experience as Einstein said in one of his quotes. Thank you Professor for making things so simple and interesting. I was struggling to understand these key concepts of relativity from a long time. Would definitely join other courses similar to this one.

By Helmich V

Apr 23, 2019

The course explains the Einstein theories in common words and language. Of course there is limited mathematics to make you feel convinced of the correctness of "Special Relativity". I enjoyed the lessons and course by a terrific teacher and professor. Thank you.

By Antonio B

Jun 15, 2020

Grateful for the opportunity to access an extraordinary online University course. Larry make easy, simple and inspirational every little step taken towards Einstein's mind, theories and talent . Fresh air for an already one century old insights. Thanks indeed.

By Akshai R K

Jun 1, 2020

The course deals with one most exciting theories in the world of science and having taken it, I can say that it is molded so as to imbibe curiosity in the minds of the most basic man with the least exposure to science. Great job by Professor Larry and Stanford.

By Robin A L

Jan 2, 2020

This is an amazing course. It could have used some graphics or animations, but the math and diagrams done on the whiteboard were really nicely done. I came to actually understand the Special Theory of Relativity. You need to know some algebra to get this.