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

4.9
stars
2,538 ratings
884 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

BH
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.

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

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276 - 300 of 877 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Michal F

Dec 1, 2016

Great teacher. Clear message. Goes slowly though the material and highlights key concepts few times to make them stay. If someone does not want slow pace can always jump ahead as course structure is well organized and described.

By Maja K

Oct 20, 2020

Amazing. Thank you so much. Mr Larry Randles Lagerstrom is the best teacher ever. I am not a physicist, but the subject of special relativity has always interested me, and no one has presented it in such a clear way. Thank you.

By Daniel B N

Nov 28, 2018

O curso é excelente. O conteúdo é muito bem dividido de modo que o aprendizado é gradual e consistente. O professor é bom, consegue dar bons exemplos e contextualiza bem a matéria. O aspecto histórico é extremamente agradável.

By Jenna K

Oct 31, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and couldn’t recommend it enough. The lecturer is terrific at explaining complex topics and his Festina Lente approach was highly suitable for teaching this subject matter at a beginner level.

By Raghad M A

Feb 25, 2020

thank you, Professor! it has been great learning all this from you. i enjoyed the journey. it was marvelous and creative and helped me reflect upon a lot of things i was once curious about as a child and as i was growing up.

By hello h

Sep 21, 2017

I never thought that studying Theory of Relativity could be so easy-All thanks to Larry for making the course so easy, conceptual at the same time interesting.

Looking forward for your course on General theory of Relativity.

By Tarcisio P

May 24, 2020

I'm a senior engineer, my job is about power electronic. I have always been interested on the Eistein's thought and I thank Coursera and Stanford University for the opportunity to discover the Special Theory of Relativity.

By Edwin P

Jun 2, 2018

Great course for thoughtful minds .

Awesome lectures from gifted professor.

Great understanding of Einstein and Special theory of relativity .

Mind blowing facts, time dilation and length contraction .

And the weird paradoxes

By Jayesh A

May 31, 2020

The instructor of this is excellent and provides very good insights into the topic which is very difficult for topics like these, which is totally against our intuition. Everyone should take this course in their lifetime.

By Nimish P

Jul 26, 2020

Very well Taught & Explained by Prof. Larry Lagerstrom. Thank you a lot for this effort to everyone including the Professor, the University & Coursera for such convenient & Flexible method of teaching such complex ideas.

By Jayshil P

May 14, 2017

I think this the best course for beginners who want to learn special relativity qualitatively. This course contains least mathematics. But, then also, you can learn concepts of relativity very easily without mathematics.

By Sarah.S

Jan 3, 2021

Prof. Lagerstorm is probably the best professor one could wish for, I am 13 and yet was able to understand in depth. His references, and explanation is so simple that it made such complex concepts easily understandable.

By Mathieu L

Sep 8, 2020

Really nice course, the teacher explains well and his clear. Mathematic aspects are not too difficult to understand. I really enjoyed this course and have a much better understanding of the special Theory of Relativity.

By Daniel S M

Oct 7, 2020

I am very happy with this course. I am a physicist and I learned too much, I think the best way to learn a theory is in a historical context. I recommend this course. I expect you open the course on general relativity.

By Gayatri P

May 22, 2021

The course was perfect in every way...I'm in 9th grade and I could understand the concept clearly all thanks to the Professor's teaching and the guidance of the mentors who cleared all the doubts!

Thank you once again!

By SACHIN K

Apr 27, 2018

This course really explained well "The Special Theory Of Relativity". In addition to that you can also learn that how theories develop step by step, measurement. Also I got know a lot of things about Albert Einstein.

By André B

May 24, 2020

The way the course is given, clear and slow paced, makes it easy to understand the topic for someone who hasn't done math for a long time. Which was good for me since I did the course for fun and not career related.

By Roger P

Aug 16, 2018

This was a great course and Larry Lagerstrom is a wonderful teacher. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone interested in Einstein's Special Theory and I'm hoping that Larry will do more physics courses.

By Andrea P

Dec 20, 2017

The way topics are presented is so fluid (and for the general public) that it is impossible not to follow the roadmap and conclude the course with few but very sound concepts about the special theory of relativity.

By Yves G

Mar 28, 2019

Thanks to the professor

Larry Randles Lagerstrom for this high quality course. I had exciting moments during class. It is hoped that one day humanity will become a stellar civilization ... Again thank you very much

By Anil

May 25, 2017

This is one of the best course I have a taken in a while. Thank you to the Prof to make this learning experience one of the best so far, Can't imagine anyone else explaining the same material which such clarity!!!

By VJM P

Feb 5, 2017

This course helped me understanding many concepts of The Special Theory of Relativity. I recommend it particularly to high school students. Thank you very much to the teacher and all that contributed for that job.

By dave c

Mar 9, 2021

Thanks for keeping it simple. There was a lot of head scratching; but the professor kept going over the issues with great examples. One of the best instructors I have had in 5 years of online courses.

Thanks

By Joe D

Jul 6, 2020

Great class! My favorite part was the first 3 chapters regarding Einstein's background history. I don't have much of a science background so I did get a little lost later on in the course, but I still enjoyed it!

By Haithem M

Apr 15, 2020

THANK YOU PROFESSOR for your efforts, your presentation made me want to study all the physics now, I'm not finished with the course yet but I couldn't wait to thank you Coursera team, this website is a blessing !