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

2,739 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.


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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926 - 944 of 944 Reviews for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

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 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.


Apr 5, 2022

very interesting andinformative

By Darren H

Feb 15, 2021

very well explained

By Don M

Jul 23, 2020

good course

By Wellington D P

Apr 30, 2017

good course

By Pratheek

Mar 4, 2017

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

By Devika M

Jun 24, 2020

It was a very informative and interesting course.

By Peter Z

Feb 15, 2017

The professor is so slow I have to have him at 1.5x speed when listening to his lecture and am still falling asleep. I am very interested Special Theory of RElativity but I ll just get a book. Will be faster.


Aug 3, 2020

This Coursera was very usefull for students,this special theory of relativity is interesting topic,

By Ildar S

Mar 29, 2020

The worst course. Very slow and unuseful

By Caroline I

May 9, 2021

i wanna enrolling this course.

By Plato 3

Jul 20, 2020


By Paul I

Jan 18, 2017

too easy