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

2,738 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


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.


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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676 - 700 of 944 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

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.

By Jacob A

Jul 6, 2017

Very well structured course, and the instructor is superb.

By art g

Jul 1, 2017

great course. clear lectures which elucidate the concepts.

By Dr. J M P

Feb 22, 2022

Great Course! Fantastic presentation of the key concepts!

By Howard L

Jan 21, 2022

It is a fantastic course for a beginner who loves physics

By xavier H

Aug 13, 2021

This course is very progressive and pedogically very good

By Deleted A

Jun 26, 2020

it´s a very good course, you just need basic math notions

By Alberto V C G

Apr 23, 2021

Extraordinary course. Very well explained, step by step.

By Sébastien T

Apr 3, 2021

I found the professor extremely pedagogical, thank you!

By Hyunbin Y

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