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

4.9
stars
2,418 ratings
840 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.

SS
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.

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326 - 350 of 828 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Javal S

Oct 19, 2017

It was very helpful.language used was simple . Professor Larry provided with wonderful deep insights. A truly enriching experience . Helped me a lot as an undergrad physics student.

By Ayron D

Mar 22, 2017

I really enjoyed learning about how light and frames of reference can affect time and length, and what consequences these results have. It was a well outlined and explained course.

By Marius A

Jun 26, 2017

Very well put together course, recommended to everyone who want to understand the basic relativistic concepts. Thank you professor L. R. Lagerstrom for doing such a wonderful job.

By Norberto G R M

May 27, 2017

Thank you for your effort and the clarity with which you explain these topics that help us understand a great theory and the life of a genius scientist, Einstein.

Gabriel Reynoso

By Robert B D

Oct 3, 2017

An excellent courses with all material presented in a very thoughtful and systematic way. Practice problem sets are a very important addition to the course material. Well done!!!

By Peter B

Sep 22, 2017

Larry Lagerstrom did an outstanding job in presenting much counter-intuitive material. The course flowed nicely and I feel that I have a reasonable grasp of Special Relativity.

By Mohammed A

Sep 20, 2018

This course is really made me understand the Special Theory of Relativity, does not matter if your physic level is not that much good, with this course you only need so basics.

By Pritam k s

Jun 12, 2017

teacher is good course is also good i loved it.i wanted to buy a certificate but i have not enough money to buy...anywhere thanks for enroll free thank you so,much............

By KEVIN T M X

Jan 6, 2021

It is a great course, it helped me a lot in understaing Einstein's thoughts. The didatics of professor Larry is excelent. For sure, this course definitively expanded my mind.

By Robert D

May 23, 2020

Professor Lagerstrom did a wonderful job building a foundation in order to make this very complicated theory understandable. The course was well worth the effort. Thank you

By Andrew M

Jun 23, 2018

I have been interested in relativity for years and thought that I understood it (in a general sense) pretty well - this course gave me new insights and is highly recommended.

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 Tucker E

Apr 28, 2021

Awesome course and professor did good job of explaining. Might have to use youtube or outside sources to help grasp some of the topics but great course and learned a lot

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.