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

2,703 ratings
933 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


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.


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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651 - 675 of 932 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

By Dalius G

May 3, 2018

Simple, objective, informative. Amazing course, thanks Coursera !

By 송준현

Jul 4, 2021

It is a great lecture. Highly recommendable introductory course.

By Jaime D S O

Aug 10, 2020

The course was very good and the teacher was very clear, thanks!

By Timothy H

Jul 3, 2018

Really informative and mostly simplified for most to understand.

By Amir E

Mar 13, 2018

This was an exceptional experience. Thank you, Prof. Lagerstrom!

By William M

Jan 3, 2018

this is an excellent and interesting introduction to the subject

By Alexandros P

Jan 3, 2019

Excellent course. Very well structured and stimulating content.

By Fabio P

Jan 23, 2018

Excellent, these important concepts finally seem to make sense.

By Ingeborg B

Jan 4, 2017

This is a very good course! any thanks to professor Lagerstrom.

By Alejandro L

Aug 31, 2021

With special gratitude to Prof. Randles Lagerstrom. Brilliant.

By Massimo B

May 7, 2020

Very well explained course, thank's to Prof. Larry Lagerstrom.

By José J B d M

Nov 20, 2017

It very well explained by profesor Lagerstrom. Congatulations!

By saadhvik a

Oct 7, 2017

The course was an enriching experience that truly ennobled me!

By Shaya S

Sep 12, 2017

quite slow, but makes it super easy to understand, i loved it!

By Guillaume B

Mar 8, 2019

Amazing course!!! Thanks a lot! Wonderful course and teacher!

By Rasith T T

Sep 11, 2018

Wonderful Introductory Course which seek to Study. Thank you.

By Ayman Z

Jan 29, 2018

Perfect in every aspect, Thank you for this excellent course.

By Affan M

Jun 23, 2017

This is the best course on special relativity for a beginner.

By P K

Dec 30, 2016

Excellent course. Excellent instructor. Well worth the time!

By Li M

May 14, 2019

A very good introductory course to the theory of relativity.

By Barry S

Jul 16, 2017

Excellent course for those yet unfamiliar or as a refresher!

By Frank L

Nov 12, 2017

Well explained and easy to follow. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

By narendra p

Feb 6, 2017

course well organised. nice note preparation and hand outs.

By Paranjay T

Jun 19, 2020

It was a great opportunity for me to enhance my knowledge.

By Bahman A

Feb 12, 2018

Everything was perfect. I learnt a lot here. Great Thanks.