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

2,871 ratings

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


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.


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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726 - 750 of 984 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Sébastien T

Apr 3, 2021

I found the professor extremely pedagogical, thank you!

By hb l

Dec 5, 2020

Thanks for teaching easily Special theory of relativity

By roger

Jul 5, 2019

Very simple math. Very clear description of the theory.

By Jeffrey G P

Aug 26, 2018

This was a very well explained and demonstrated course.

By Tharun K

Sep 17, 2021


By John S

Oct 14, 2020

This was a very informative, very well thought course.

By Vassileios V

Jan 19, 2017

Really enjoyed the course from begging up to the end!!

By Alex R

Nov 26, 2020

Great intro, very approachable and easy to understand

By John M

Nov 8, 2020

Very interesting. Starts from nothing and builds well

By Nay W L

May 24, 2020

Very nice course. A very ennobling experience indeed.

By sdoamy

Apr 17, 2018

Very helpful for me to prepare for the next semester.

By Mariana K S

Aug 1, 2017

Great course! The materia is covered in great depth.

By Gianni T

Sep 22, 2022

Wish I had a professor like this one 40 years ago.

By Hamza I

Sep 13, 2020

A very comprehensive and a well thought-out course.

By Peter H

Apr 15, 2020

Superb course and a superb lecturer. Thanks so much

By Candice M

Aug 23, 2021

Great teacher, I loved learning about this course.

By Nana H

Nov 26, 2020

Easy to understand and very motivating. Thank you!

By Narmadha K

Oct 27, 2020

Hi! Could you update my free certificate? Thankyou

By Defne T

Jun 26, 2019

Very easy to understand! Great pace for beginners


Oct 21, 2017

Excellent teaching ..

Thank you so much professor.

By Wei-shun B

Sep 27, 2017

Very clear explanation with minimal prerequisites

By Jauza A K

Jun 24, 2022

I love this course! It's easy to understand it.

By G. D B

Mar 4, 2022

Just awesome! My compliments to Dr. Lagerstrom!

By Maria J V

Dec 19, 2021

Excellent Course, congratulations and thank you!

By Marius G

Jul 6, 2020

Clear and concise course on this exciting topic!