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

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

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.

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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526 - 550 of 801 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Andrew B

Sep 30, 2018

Larry is a fantastic teacher and makes the subject matter easier to understand.

By Tun L A

Sep 5, 2017

Excellent and most complete course concerning The Special Theory of Relativity.

By Alexandria B

Mar 1, 2017

100% recommend for anyone who enjoys the fun implications of higher-level math!

By Meir S

Apr 5, 2018

A very easy way to learn a very complicated theory

It's slow but very thorough

By Beril K

Aug 5, 2017

I'm at 7th week of this course and so far I've truly enjoyed and learnt a lot!

By Lluis O

Dec 5, 2016

Larry R Lagerstrom is an extraordinay instructor, for an extraordinary course.


Mar 24, 2021

An amazing way of teaching this course. I have learnt a lot from this course.

By Francois J

Dec 5, 2020

Larry Randles is an excellent Instructor.

I would take other courses from him.

By Mayank S

Sep 3, 2020

Best beginner course to know about relativity and in turn understand Einstein

By Alejandro P

May 7, 2018

Muy interesante el curso, además, las explicaciones muy claras. Curso genial.

By Robert B

Aug 29, 2017

Very clear and understandable from an algebraic math background. Thank You!!

By Anton B

Aug 11, 2017

I never knew I would understand the Special Theory of Relativity. Until now!

By E D S

May 24, 2020

Very professional presentation. Arranged for easy understanding. Well done.

By Wiktor J

Sep 20, 2018

Great course, gave me a really good understanding of this wonderful theory.

By Christopher B

Dec 5, 2017

On week 2, LOVING this so far! I will get this certificate, I am confident.

By 18-uph-210 A K

Jul 18, 2020

Awesome methodology for teaching students not even from science background

By Fabio C

Jun 13, 2020

Excellent choice for a beginner on this matter. Clear, insightful, course.

By Venkataramana K

Aug 12, 2019

This course really help me to satisfy my quest to understand time dilation

By Marco Q

Sep 25, 2017

Excellent course, It lets You understand clearly the strange nature works.

By Alan L

May 24, 2020

Concepts all very clearly explained. Diagram and notes were very helpful.

By 胡娅宁

Jul 2, 2018

Except from the slow pace of teaching, everything is clearly illustrated!


Jun 28, 2020

Most complicated things explained so easily. A true mind changer course.

By Aishik B

Dec 4, 2016

A very useful insight into Einstein and his Special Theory of Relativity

By malavika s

Feb 12, 2017

Very well paced, with very clear explanations and interesting insights.

By Sonuraj H D

Sep 10, 2020

This great explation course that should work in daily life of physics.