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Understanding Einstein

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!).

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Rating 4.8 based on 346 ratings
Length 9 weeks
Effort 8 weeks of study, 5-10 hours per week
Starts Oct 12 (3 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From Stanford University via Coursera
Instructor Larry Randles Lagerstrom
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design Engineering Science
Tags History Arts And Humanities Physical Science And Engineering Physics And Astronomy

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What people are saying

theory of relativity

* Mind bending concepts I took this course as I was interested in Einstein's theory of relativity but knew very little about it.

Also takes a methodical approach to teaching and is easy to follow and get a good understanding of the underlying concepts behind special theory of relativity with context around how it was conceived and developed by Einstein.

the course was very easy This course really explained well "The Special Theory Of Relativity".

This is a fantastic course for learning the concepts of the special theory of relativity.

It was a good introductory course for the special theory of relativity.

Well organized and described - Each section can add to one's appreciation for the basic physics behind the special theory of relativity.

Very nice introductory course for those who always wanted to understand what is the spacial theory of relativity is about.

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special theory

I am very satisfied with the course director's knowledge, his ability to convey that knowledge and I now have a much better understanding of the Special Theory of Relativity.

The way topics are presented is so fluid (and for the general public) that it is impossible not to follow the roadmap and conclude the course with few but very sound concepts about the special theory of relativity.

Most interestingly, I understood the way things work in the realm of Special Theory of Relativity which was a big question in my mind for long time.

Now I really feel I have a sound grasp of the Special Theory of Relativity and Einstein's life!

It gave me a basic understanding of Special theory of relativity.

great course and great instructor i deeply understood the special theory of relativity 1- very well organized , from simple to complex gradually 2-detailed 3 -persuasive , full of examples and logic arguments 4- clear effort and patience of this great lecturer 3- gradual Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

Excellent presentation, clearly explained in generic language some of the esoteric concepts of the Special Theory of Relativity.

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prof. lagerstrom

Prof. Lagerstrom many thanks for your way of teaching a not very easy matter.

As a matter of fact, I am just waiting for a quantum mechanic course by Prof. Lagerstrom.

I really enjoyed listening to prof. Lagerstrom lectures and his clear explanations of a subject which is not so obvious to understand.

Thank you, Prof. Lagerstrom!

The teaching skills of Prof. Lagerstrom are really great.

Very carefully crafted course by Prof. Lagerstrom, starts with basic concepts so that every curious mind could grasp it.

Prof. Lagerstrom is to be congratulated for the very excellent, logical manner in which he has taught this course.

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highly recommend

Highly recommended if you are getting started or getting back into physics.

Highly recommended.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone seeking a great mental challenge and scientific curiosity.

Highly recommend to anyone who has ever wondered if on might actually travel to another galaxy and return alive.

I highly recommend it for everyone who is interested in physics Can't believe this course is taught to Stanford students (or any college students).

However, all that being said, I highly recommend this course!

Highly recommend.

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easy to follow

The lectures are very easy to follow clear despite the difficulties of the topic.

Well designed, clear, fun, easy to follow and tremendously beneficial to my ongoing thirst to understanding reality.

Well explained and easy to follow.

While still a little complex for someone with rudimentary or fairly stale science knowledge, Professor Lagerstrom's approach is easy to follow and understand.

Very good, easy to follow course.

It was easy to follow thanks to the quality of teaching.

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problem sets

Support materials (notes and problem sets) were very helpful to complement the videos.

Practice problem sets are a very important addition to the course material.

I think some more rigor could be brought into as 'optional modules' and in the optional problem sets.

The problem sets were also good.

Some problem sets were quite time consuming.

I've worked long hours trying to understand the concepts and solving the problem sets for this course.

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Math and Music Theory Specialist $52k

Clinical & Theory Instructor $56k

Belmont Academy Theory & Aural Skills Teacher $61k

Theory-seasonal sales Manager $69k

Program Manager, Political Theory Project $74k

Associate Professor of Bassoon and Music Theory $88k

Scientist - Modeling and Theory $90k

Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory $138k

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Rating 4.8 based on 346 ratings
Length 9 weeks
Effort 8 weeks of study, 5-10 hours per week
Starts Oct 12 (3 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From Stanford University via Coursera
Instructor Larry Randles Lagerstrom
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design Engineering Science
Tags History Arts And Humanities Physical Science And Engineering Physics And Astronomy

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