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

4.9
stars
2,245 ratings
770 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

AP
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.

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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726 - 750 of 756 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Aidan K

Feb 27, 2020

Quite hard work - the topic is not intuitive, and the questions teem with the possibility of going wrong - badly wrong.

Effort is required, and is paid-back.

By Ritvik A

Nov 23, 2017

It's a good course to start understanding Relativistic Physics. Nothing rigorous though.

The lectures are amazingly easy to understand. Overall liked it.

By luis a g s

Oct 12, 2017

I think a chapter on momentum and energy conservation would be interesting, I liked the examples and the treatment of the paradoxes, very good course.

By hei c

Jul 21, 2018

a very thorough introduction to special relativity, as a layman, I have gained immense insight & basic understanding. Thanks prof Lagerstrom!!!!

By Krish R

Jun 22, 2017

The course was really good. But the discussion forum was not pleasant. Due to the unruly behaviour of this person named Thomas Lahn

By Gary S

Aug 13, 2020

Mr Lagerstrom has explained a difficult topic in a very understandable way. He is a true teacher, not just a lecturer. Thank you.

By Christophe N

Oct 18, 2020

Nice course with very clear explanations! Too bad that I had to wait for week 4 to really start the core of special relativity

By Vertika S

Dec 17, 2018

Excellent Prof , Excellent Resources. My only drawback is that prof is a bit excessive repetitive, rest everything is fine.

By apeksha j

May 20, 2020

A very interesting course simplified to an under graduate level. it helps in understanding relativity in perspective.

By Lee H

Aug 16, 2017

Well taught and structured course, gives a more quantitative understanding of some of the outcomes.

By Kiran K

Mar 9, 2017

Good course for introduction to special relativity. I expected more related to E=mc^2 derivation.

By Víctor P V

Dec 7, 2016

This course is superb, covers easyly all the aspects of the special theory of relativity

By Nicholas C

Dec 9, 2020

A leisurely and enjoyable introduction to the Special Theory.

By Callum B

Jul 4, 2018

Really good to get a grasp of what relativity is all about

By Dave W

Dec 19, 2020

Too much work in weeks 4 and 5. Explanations very clear.

By Maartijn S

Nov 13, 2017

Really great course, the teaching was excellent and fun.

By Shayar S

Sep 12, 2018

Really interesting topic but can get a little boring

By Luis A B M L

Sep 7, 2020

A bit long, too much time to cover easy themes...

By Yasoda R

Aug 26, 2017

Nicely presented, but pace was very slow.

By Rajendraprasadbabu M

Jul 19, 2019

a little bit more advanced required.

By Don M

Jul 23, 2020

good course

By Wellington D P

Apr 30, 2017

good course

By harsh r

Oct 2, 2018

This course is just okay. The professor seemed nice and explained the concepts well. However it takes a painstaking long hours just to proceed to the next material(if you aren’t skipping stuff) as he just keeps over-explaining. The problems are far too easy , if you want to do relativity from a quantitative standpoint. Also,my biggest complaint is the introduction, which lasts for about 3 hours. And it takes around middle of the 2nd week to get started. I get it, make haste slow, but not to a crawl.

By Pratheek

Mar 4, 2017

Rather easy questions and not many difficult ones even in the optional exercises.