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

4.9
stars
2,351 ratings
814 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

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.

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326 - 350 of 801 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Michael A

Feb 21, 2021

A tantalizing topic, a fantastic teacher...what could be better. Truly a well structured, superbly presented course and teacher. Highly recommended for the so inclined....

By Joseph D I

Jan 3, 2021

Outstanding course. I cannot say enough about the course design and instruction in building the foundation - piece by piece - for thorough understanding. Highly recommended.

By randolph o

Aug 20, 2020

Very good instructor, knowledgeable, coherent, understandable, enthusiastic; course well organized, well paced; interesting subject; I learned a lot and enjoyed experience.

By Julian S

Apr 18, 2019

I am a second-year undergrad student. This is a well organized introductory course and I really enjoyed learning something new. Will definitely recommend it to a friend. :)

By Jojy M

Oct 12, 2018

An excellent course for those who want to have a basic understanding of the special theory of relativity without the scary math that one usually associates with the theory.

By Michael C

Jan 2, 2020

So very glad to have taken this course. Professor Lagerstom was an excellent lecturer, making this challenging subject understandable and interesting. Thank you so much.

By Lea D

Aug 2, 2019

It was an amazing Course. I really enjoyed the Course and understood the concepts of the Theory of relativity. The weeks were really well-thought and add up to each other.

By Abigail M

Nov 7, 2017

Fantastic course! Really encouraged me to go study Physics at University. Really well explained and completely sparked me enthusiasm. So thought provoking and interesting!

By Seesy Y

Jul 29, 2020

Overall, I thought the course content was very interesting and I really enjoyed learning more about Einstein and theories about time dilation and other related materials.

By Mayada S E

Sep 1, 2019

Amazing course that makes your mind opened for imagination in a magic Einsteinal world with a great instructor who simpliphy every tiny information.thanks alot Dr. Larry

By fred

Sep 17, 2017

Really interesting course, Prof L Lagerstrom is extremely good at teaching the concepts in a comprehensive way ; I hope that he will give more courses in the future ! :)

By Etienne T

Nov 10, 2016

Very good, easy to follow course. Concepts like time slowing down and things becoming shorter at high velocities are no longer a mysterie to me after taking this course.

By Grace V

Dec 5, 2020

Feeling a bit emotionally as I depart from this class. It was truly an enlightening experience and I walked away truly having a grasp for quantum mechanics as a novice.

By Marko S

Aug 21, 2020

Really great course, it can be seen that professor really puts in great effort and repeats key concepts throught course so you never go astray of main ideas. Thank you.

By Patrick M

Jul 2, 2017

Very good introduction to the topic without going too far in depth into the calculations. This has inspired me to take more advance physic courses to continue to learn.

By Adina H

Feb 4, 2019

This was an extremely interesting course. Thank you for offering it. You really made it understandable while still maintaining the wonder of such "weird" phenomenon.

By Soham C

Jul 6, 2020

Best Astronomy Course Ever. I love Standford and would even like to choose Standford University for my higher education and research. I highly recommend this course !

By karen o

Feb 14, 2017

though i have read lots of popular physics before, nothing ever explained lorentz contraction and time dliation like dr lagerstrom! really helpful new understanding.

By Themistoklis V B

Jan 26, 2021

Excellent from start to end. Maths level required is very basic and still possible to understand only with words a lot of things that would seem complicated before!

By Abrish G

Oct 10, 2020

Provided a very beautiful insight into non-intuitive concepts and the struggle to understand the marvelous structure of reality was indeed an ennobling experience!

By Silvia E F

Jun 18, 2020

Me ha servido mucho.

He comprendido de que se trata cuando hablamos de Relatividad Especial

De como llegamos a las paradojas y como salimos de ellas

Gracias Profesor

By Vishal P

Mar 31, 2017

IT WAS A WONDERFUL COURSE. THANKS TO CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY AND THE PROFESSOR DR. LARRY LAGERSTROM FOR DELIVERING THE COURSE IN A VERY SYSTEMATIC AND JOYFUL MANNER.

By Yan A

Jun 27, 2020

A wonderful course that will enable literally anyone, even without any sort of mathematical background to grasp the idea behind the Special Theory of Relativity.

By Trivedi D P

Jul 8, 2019

This course is excellent. I want to know and learn about Einstein's special theory of relativety. This course tech me everything about it. Sir Thank you so much.

By Ilias T

Apr 28, 2017

Great course!

Mr. Lagerstrom thank you very much for giving us your insight about Special Theory of relativity and more generally for your learning initiative !