4.8

997 ratings

•

326 reviews

Stanford University

Acerca de este Curso

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!).

Section

Week 1: Introduction to the Course, and Einstein in Context...

9 videos (Total 149 min), 8 readings, 4 quizzes

Course overview17m

How to succeed in the course20m

Rules of engagement11m

Math review24m

Week 1 introduction8m

Physics and Einstein circa 190026m

To the miracle year18m

The miracle year16m

Course overview (outline)5m

How to succeed in the course (outline)2m

Rules of engagement (outline)2m

Math review (outline)2m

Week 1 introduction (outline)2m

Physics and Einstein circa 1900 (outline)5m

To the miracle year (outline)2m

The miracle year (outline)2m

Physics and Einstein circa 190014m

To the miracle year16m

The miracle year14m

Week 1 final quiz16m

Section

Week 2: Events, Clocks, and Reference Frames...

11 videos (Total 174 min), 12 readings, 9 quizzes

Events, clocks, and observers (part 1)14m

Events, clocks, and observers (part 2)10m

Spacetime diagrams (part 1)18m

Spacetime diagrams (part 2)14m

Frames of reference (part 1)18m

Frames of reference (part 2)15m

Frames of reference (part 3)11m

A few more words on world lines10m

The Galilean transformation17m

Week 2 summary31m

Week 2 introduction (outline)2m

Events, clocks, and observers (part 1) (outline)2m

Events, clocks, and observers (part 2) (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams (part 1) (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams (part 2) (outline)2m

Frames of reference (part 1) (outline)2m

Frames of reference (part 2) (outline)2m

Frames of reference (part 3) (outline)2m

A few more words on world lines (outline)2m

The Galilean transformation (outline)2m

Week 2 problem set (optional)0m

Week 2 problem set solutions30m

Events, clocks, and observers (parts 1 and 2)8m

Spacetime diagrams (part 1)8m

Spacetime diagrams (part 2)12m

Frames of reference (part 1)10m

Frames of reference (part 2)20m

Frames of reference (part 3)16m

A few more words on world lines10m

The Galilean transformation8m

Week 2 final quiz24m

Section

Week 3: Ethereal Problems and Solutions...

12 videos (Total 203 min), 15 readings, 6 quizzes

Einstein's starting point: the two postulates22m

A few words about waves (part 1)18m

A few words about waves (part 2)7m

A few words about waves (part 3)17m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 1)15m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 2)19m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 3)11m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 4)24m

Stellar aberration9m

Ethereal solutions18m

Week 3 summary25m

Week 3 introduction (outline)2m

A note on "Einstein and God"5m

A note on wave-particle duality and the nature of light5m

Einstein's starting point: the two postulates (outline)2m

A few words about waves (part 1) (outline)2m

A few words about waves (part 2) (outline)2m

A few words about waves (part 3) (outline)2m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 1) (outline)2m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 2) (outline)2m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 3) (outline)2m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (part 4) (outline)2m

Stellar aberration (outline)2m

Ethereal solutions (outline)2m

Week 3 problem set (optional)0m

Week 3 problem set solutions30m

Einstein's starting point: the two postulates12m

A few words about waves (parts 1, 2, and 3)12m

The Michelson-Morley experiment (all parts)10m

Stellar aberration4m

Ethereal solutions12m

Week 3 final quiz24m

Section

Week 4: The Weirdness Begins...

14 videos (Total 215 min), 15 readings, 9 quizzes

The relativity of simultaneity (part 1)6m

The relativity of simultaneity (part 2)10m

The relativity of simultaneity (part 3)16m

The relativity of simultaneity (summary)11m

The light clock (part 1)11m

The light clock (part 2)26m

Exploring the Lorentz factor6m

Time dilation22m

Measuring length21m

What is not suspect13m

The invariant interval22m

A real-life example: the muon7m

Week 4 summary29m

Week 4 introduction (outline)2m

The relativity of simultaneity (diagram 1)2m

The relativity of simultaneity (diagram 2)2m

The relativity of simultaneity (diagram 3)2m

The relativity of simultaneity (leading clocks lag diagram)2m

The light clock (part 1) (outline)2m

The light clock (part 2) (outline)2m

Exploring the Lorentz factor (outline)2m

Time dilation (outline)2m

Measuring length (diagram)10m

What is not suspect (outline)2m

The invariant interval (outline)2m

A real-life example: the muon (outline)2m

Week 4 problem set (optional)0m

Week 4 problem set solutions30m

The relativity of simultaneity (parts 1 and 2)12m

The relativity of simultaneity (part 3)12m

The relativity of simultaneity (summary)4m

The light clock and exploring the Lorentz factor16m

Time dilation8m

Measuring length14m

What is not suspect, and the invariant interval8m

The muon6m

Week 4 final quiz22m

Section

Week 5: Spacetime Switches...

17 videos (Total 272 min), 16 readings, 10 quizzes

Units for the speed of light8m

Exploring time dilation and length contraction (part 1)25m

The Lorentz transformation (part 1)21m

The Lorentz transformation (part 2)17m

The Lorentz transformation (part 3)29m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (part 1)17m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (part 2)11m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (part 3)5m

Leading clocks lag, revisited (a quantitative analysis)29m

Leading clocks lag, revisited (alternate shorter version)17m

Exploring time dilation and length contraction (part 2)17m

Combining velocities25m

Combining velocities, addendum2m

The ultimate speed limit10m

What happens with perpendicular velocities?12m

Week 5 summary9m

Week 5 introduction (outline)2m

Units for the speed of light (outline)2m

Exploring time dilation and length contraction (part 1) (outline)2m

The Lorentz transformation (part 1) (outline)2m

The Lorentz transformation (part 2) (outline)2m

The Lorentz transformation (part 3) (outline)2m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (part 1) (outline)2m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (part 2) (outline)2m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (part 3) (outline)2m

Leading clocks lag, revisited (outline)2m

Exploring time dilation and length contraction (part 2) (outline)2m

Combining velocities (outline)2m

The ultimate speed limit (outline)2m

What happens with perpendicular velocities? (outline)2m

Week 5 problem set (optional)0m

Week 5 problem set solutions30m

Units for the speed of light8m

Exploring time dilation and length contraction (part 1)8m

The Lorentz transformation (parts 1, 2, and 3)8m

Exploring the Lorentz transformation (parts 1, 2, and 3)12m

Leading clocks lag, revisited6m

Exploring time dilation and length contraction (part 2)8m

Combining velocities10m

The ultimate speed limit6m

What happens with perpendicular velocities?4m

Week 5 final quiz20m

Section

Week 6: Breaking the Spacetime Speed Limit...

11 videos (Total 167 min), 11 readings, 8 quizzes

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 1a)16m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 1b)7m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 2)13m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 3)20m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 4)18m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 5)11m

Regions of spacetime29m

Faster than light?16m

Cause and effect, or vice versa?13m

Week 6 summary15m

Week 6 introduction (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (parts 1a and 1b) (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 2) (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 3) (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 4) (outline)2m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 5) (outline)2m

Regions of spacetime (outline)2m

Faster than light? (outline)2m

Cause and effect, or vice versa? (outline)2m

Week 6 problem set (optional)0m

Week 6 problem set solutions30m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (parts 1a and 1b)8m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 2)8m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (parts 3 and 4)6m

Spacetime diagrams revisited (part 5)6m

Regions of spacetime10m

Faster than light?8m

Cause and effect, or vice versa?10m

Week 6 final quiz20m

Section

Week 7: Paradoxes to Ponder...

11 videos (Total 141 min), 12 readings, 5 quizzes

Cause and effect: spacetime diagram9m

The pole in the barn paradox22m

The pole in the barn: spacetime diagram4m

How objects contract8m

Spaceships on a rope12m

The twin paradox (part 1)10m

The twin paradox (part 2)15m

The twin paradox (part 3)19m

The twin paradox (part 4)23m

Week 7 summary5m

Week 7 introduction (outline)2m

Cause and effect: spacetime diagram (outline)2m

The pole in the barn paradox (outline)2m

The pole in the barn: spacetime diagram (outline)2m

How objects contract (outline)2m

Spaceships on a rope (outline)2m

The twin paradox (part 1) (outline)2m

The twin paradox (part 2) (outline)2m

The twin paradox (part 3) (outline)2m

The twin paradox (part 4) (outline)2m

Week 7 problem set (optional)0m

Week 7 problem set solutions30m

Cause and effect: spacetime diagram4m

The pole in the barn paradox and spacetime diagram6m

How objects contract, and spaceships on a rope6m

The twin paradox (parts 1-4)12m

Week 7 final quiz20m

Section

Week 8: To the Center of the Galaxy and Back...

9 videos (Total 127 min), 10 readings, 7 quizzes

Traveling the galaxy (part 1)15m

The famous equation18m

Traveling the galaxy (part 2)9m

The happiest thought16m

The bending of light16m

Final comments21m

Week 8 summary9m

Course recap13m

Week 8 introduction (outline)2m

Traveling the galaxy (part 1) (outline)2m

The famous equation (outline)2m

Traveling the galaxy (part 2) (outline)2m

The happiest thought (outline)2m

The bending of light (outline)2m

Final comments (outline)2m

Suggested books for further reading5m

Week 8 problem set (optional)0m

Week 8 problem set solutions30m

Traveling the galaxy (part 1)12m

The famous equation10m

Traveling the galaxy (part 2)6m

The happiest thought8m

The bending of light4m

Final comments10m

Week 8 final quiz20m

4.8

started a new career after completing these courses

got a tangible career benefit from this course

By BH•Jun 23rd 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.

By JK•Apr 2nd 2017

I enjoyed this course very much. Professor Larry Randles Lagerstrom made a difficult subject easy to understand. Especially for a fellow who at 85 has forgotten a lot of what he learned in college.

The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto, California, United States....

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