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

4.9
stars
2,357 ratings
818 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

JJ
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

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.

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226 - 250 of 805 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Rajeev R

Oct 16, 2018

I have always wanted to understand how relativity works and how did Einstein go about developing this theory and this course provided a brilliant opportunity and the professor delivered this a manner that allowed me to understand the process and the theory.

By Patricio V R

Dec 18, 2020

A great course!! I have learned a lot and finally understood the main concepts of relativity. It would be great if a course of general relativity could follow this one. (Although it would be probably very difficult to mantain a basic, intuitive approach)

By Sidharth H

Jul 6, 2019

Great introduction to Special Relativity! Good for beginners. The math is highly simplified to an intuitive level, which gives great confidence to people (like me) who don't know calculus (yet) and thus do not (for now) understand the original 1905 paper.

By Silvia I P A

Dec 4, 2020

Es un curso excelente. El profesor es un docente con conocimientos y mucha experiencia.

Su doctorado en Historia de la Física da un contexto único, a aquellos momentos importantes en la trayectoria cientifica de Einstein. Agradezco mucho los aprendizajes.

By Antonio P

May 30, 2017

A superb introduction into Special Relativity. A great way to assimilate in full the fundamental concepts before diving into a more technical/mathematical approach... if you really need it. I'm very pleased having decided to take it. Thank you very much!

By Karen S B

Dec 9, 2020

This is an excellent course even for those of us who have some understanding of these concepts. The instructor is extremely knowledgeable and reinforces these ideas in a clear and concise manner.

I found it to be very thorough and interesting. Thank you!

By Jim M

Oct 19, 2020

Dr. Lagerstrom's presentations were detailed, clear, and very understandable. His whiteboard work was very good. The presentations on were neat, clear and very readable.

In my opinion, the course was a top notch introduction to Einstein and relativity.

By AFI. J M

Jul 22, 2020

It is a great course for all Physics Enthusiasts and also for someone who wants to know about Einstein. Prof. Lagerstrom is a wonderful teacher who helps you to imagine every single thought experiment in a very intuitive way. Thanks to Prof. Lagerstrom.

By Vishal V

Jul 22, 2017

I like this course and i learn something new and very weird things about universe. I also thankful to Prof. Larry Lagerstrom, and Stanford University to provide such valuable knowledge and also thankful to coursera to provide such platform for learning.

By Andres P

Jul 13, 2020

Excellent course. Great lectures, perfect for anyone with a minimum background on physics. No need to have any previous knowledge of the Special Theory of Relativity. Very well explained and well designed exercises. Top experience! 100% recommended!

By Luiz C

Jun 18, 2019

Really great Course: though Professor Lagestrom explanations can sometimes feel being too long, he is always very clear. I really enjoyed this Course, and wish there would bea similar follow-up course on the topic of the General Theory of Relativity

By Harry A H

Mar 18, 2020

Very thorough and modern explanation of the basic principles of SR. Modern in the sense that math is not emphasized to start getting the correct intuition. Thank you Prof. Holstrom and thank you to the staff for answering all questions so promptly.

By John M

May 27, 2017

A fantastic course by a fantastic teacher. Enthusiastic and interesting and most importantly clearly explaining the subject matter. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to anyone and to take any other course run by Larry Randles Lagerstrom.

By Utkarsh C

Jul 14, 2020

Really it was a great course, explained with such good examples and out teacher " just hats off to him". Sir, you were really very kind and intelligent. thank you for letting us understand the fundamentals of Einstein Special theory of Relativity.

By Jean-Jacques Z

Jun 23, 2018

Very clear presentation of the Physics involved. Can be followed without mathematical background. As a suggested reading I would add "L'évolution des idées en Physique" from Einstein / Infeld"Let's go now for a lecture in general relativity!

By Quincy G

Oct 9, 2018

Professor was very thorough in explaining the various aspects regarding the Special Theory of Relativity. The tests and problem sets were well related to what I learned in the videos, and helped me apply what I learned. A terrific course.

By Amalkrishna m

Oct 11, 2020

Intresting course and excellent professor and never ever had this excellent online class valuable and worth class and I'm become more endustatic in physics and thanks for all the guys behind this project and special thanks for professor

By Benjamin Z F

Dec 26, 2017

The content and quality of the course is amazing. I am very satisfied with the course director's knowledge, his ability to convey that knowledge and I now have a much better understanding of the Special Theory of Relativity. Five stars!

By Santiago B

Jun 23, 2017

It's a brilliant course. Although I knew nothing about this topics, even as regard as basic Physics, I understood everything. There are simple explanations and a very didactic diagramming. This was an enriching and enjoyable experience.

By Shruthi S

Mar 2, 2017

Thanks for this course. And I am overwhelmed by the fact that you're giving away these course materials for free. Of course, I'll buy a few important courses for I'll be asked for a certificate. Anyways, thanks a lot team course era. :)

By Nikola S

Aug 18, 2020

One of the best courses I have ever seen. With only little knowledge in physics and math, it is possible to follow the course until the end. A lot of the theory is visualized in pictures and graphs to make it even better to understand.

By Ciaran L

Jun 9, 2020

Larry was a brilliant teacher and explained everything very clearly. He took the necessary time on each aspect of the course and made sure that the 'foundations' were laid to properly understand Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.

By David J

Apr 2, 2021

A very clear and well thought-out presentation of a tricky subject. At 75 I feared my speed of comprehension wouldn't be up to it. Thanks to Larry for helping me get up to speed and for making the experience so unexpectedly enjoyable!

By Oguzhan O

May 19, 2020

I have never ever had a better course than this. As a person with a little background in physical scineces, I am capable of asking important questions about the universe. Thank you Prof. Lagerstrom for your unforgettable contribution.

By Arun G

Apr 14, 2020

I got a more in-depth understanding of how special relativity acutally works and I was able to completely clear the major doubts that i had about the various pseudo paradoxes that arised out of this theory such as the twins paradox.