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

2,249 ratings
771 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

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.

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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376 - 400 of 757 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Ethan E

Nov 8, 2020

Superb, this course is definitely congenial to one who likes to learn about physics. It has been a pleasure to participate from London

By Sebastián R

Aug 13, 2020

Excelente curso. el profesor es muy bueno y los ejemplos didácticos para entender de forma práctica la teoría de relatividad especial.

By Antonova E

Jul 15, 2020

Thank you very match! It was really interesting course! I found out a lot of new amazing information about time and physics generally.


Jul 14, 2020

Fantastic course! I was able to complete it without a strong math background! the Instructor is very thorough and very easy to follow!

By Pritish J

Apr 3, 2020

Excellent course and loved the way Prof. delivered the course. Wish he could take up a course in General Theory of Relativity as well.

By shubham k

Sep 16, 2017

This course is awesome . The lectures provided by the Stanford is very helpful. Our professor is also very helpful and encouraging.

By Steve B

Jan 3, 2017

A enjoyable and well laid out course, mathematics level: high school, some rigorous algebraic proofs though not essential to pass.

By Parker R M

Jul 16, 2020

Excellent course, very informative and interesting - even without a math/physics background, I feel I've taken a lot away from it.

By Raphael R

Nov 11, 2018

This material is probably the best explanation currently available for anyone and allows for intuitive understanding of the Theory

By Gary

Nov 22, 2020

Excellent course presented by a very clear competent instructor. If I can grasp the concepts and the math just about anyone can.

By Pam E

Aug 20, 2017

An excellent course with great videos explaining the concepts at a level and pace that could be understood. Thank you very much.

By Palak C

Jul 7, 2017

This course was amazing. The way Proff. Larry Taught, was so subtle and understandable. I recommend this course foe enthusiasts.

By Laurel S D

Dec 19, 2016

Great course. I have a BS in physics from Colorado School of Mines, which is a tough school, and they didn't explain it as well

By Javier L E

Apr 12, 2020

Fantastic, best course ever. I sincerely congratulate Larry Randles for his great work.

Thanks, Javier Lázaro

San Sebastián Spain

By Priyanka S

Aug 22, 2019

The course was informative and took a very unique and simple approach to explain The Special Theory of Relativity to beginners.

By Tim B

Nov 6, 2017

Very good course for people with little formal preparation in mathematics. The instructor explains the concepts very patiently.

By Oren R

Feb 10, 2018

Very enriching, even to a 12th grade student. Well made, everything was well explained, The instructor was very professional.

By Meihe C

Jul 13, 2017

Lovely course, the historical info along with the physics are delightful. Little math but the concepts are explained clearly.

By Bhakti r

May 8, 2020

the course was amazing and it was a wonderful experience to learn the special relativity through such professional teacher.

By P V C

Mar 30, 2020

Thanks a lot for this course. I learnt a lot from this course and certified.i also got certificate .And it is easy to learn

By Gabriel W R S

Sep 11, 2019

Um excelente curso com um professor de altíssimo nível, que ensina com clareza e paciência. Recomendo a todos que o façam.

By Dieter S

Apr 23, 2018

Well structured and explained. The course shows the advantages of a classical board in comparison to showing just slides.

By Aliaksandr B

Jan 29, 2018

Very nice introductory course for those who always wanted to understand what is the spacial theory of relativity is about.

By chenxiao

Sep 11, 2017

it is really a wonderful experience to think beyond every life. it is better than any other science fictions. it is REAL!