Volver a Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity

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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!)....

BH

22 de jun. de 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.

AP

11 de ago. de 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.

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por Larry L

•13 de sep. de 2020

I have always wanted to understand the basics of the Special Theory of Relativity but when trying to read about it found that I did not have the appropriate post high school background in math and physics to understand the theory. Professor Lagerstrom presented the information in a cogent manner that enabled me to grasp both the theory's underlying principles and its beauty.

LL

por RONALD D P

•3 de oct. de 2019

Very well done. I learned a lot and I'm very pleased with the results I achieved. I learned to study with purpose and to be patient in my learning. I learned to listen intently and apply what I learned. Even old dogs can learn new tricks. I really enjoyed listening to Mr Lagerstrom's lectures. He is knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. He made the course easy to follow.

por Frank B

•14 de mar. de 2020

This course is outstanding. I have tried other self-learning STofR courses and never got past the preliminary steps. The professor is outstanding, the amount of effort to make Special Relativity concepts understandable at the high school algebra level must have been immense. Thanks for expending the effort.

Frank Bryant B.S. Biology/Chemistry, B.S.E.E, M.S. Computer Systems

por Hugo C P

•26 de feb. de 2018

Es un gran curso, el profesor tiene una gran experiencia haciendo clases y he aprendido mucho tomando el curso, ayuda que esté el texto en ingles de sus diálogos para traducirlo si hay alguna duda. El curso cumplió todas mis expectativas, felicito al equipo que diagramó y preparó este lindo curso para los amantes de la física y la astronomía. Un abrazo a todo el equipo.

por Yaswant G

•29 de jun. de 2020

This is a wonderful path to embark on for those who wish to have a different perspective on the natural laws. It provides a robust platform for pursing more advanced journeys and enhance their ability to analyse and contemplate. The course material is really good and is definitely recommended for people who wish to step out of their boundaries and grasp more of life.

por Jerome H

•22 de may. de 2020

For foreigners, the subtitles are very useful. Sometimes they are not correct and students could have correct them if there would be some tool to propose corrections as it is sometimes the case for the correction of OCR for old newspaper.

I have learned a lot with this course and would like to thank you for providing this material to all the students in the world.

por Sheshagiri K M R

•24 de jun. de 2017

I must say that it is a great course. It moves along nicely (though at times a bit fast); the context has been laid out well and there is enough of summarizing and 'looking back' before moving forward. This course is an ideal beginning for anyone who wants to deep dive into relativity at a later stage! My thanks to Coursera and special thanks to Prof. Lagerstrom!

por Om G

•14 de mar. de 2020

As a student hoping to study Physics in University, this course offered a fantastic and simple to follow explanation for concepts that are often portrayed as impossible to understand by mainstream media. Props to Professor Lagerstrom and the rest of the team in developing a course that even a person with a passing interest in physics can follow comprehensively!

por Rusi R

•11 de feb. de 2018

Great class, thank you. Just a suggestion for the movie with matter-antimatter fuel comparison to the center of the galaxy , when speaking of 38 kg antimatter, just for comparison perhaps we can convert this to truckloads of coal ... this way people will realize better how much energy it goes to producing 1 gram of antimatter, not even to mention 38 kg ... :")

por Catherine W

•31 de ene. de 2020

The professor is a joy to listen to and wish he had more courses on here. While I couldn't follow a couple of times, the benefits of taking a course that goes far beyond our daily experiences is astronomical. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone with even the slightest interest in engaging a more hands on approach to the Special Theory or Relativity.

por John O

•10 de jun. de 2020

An excellent introduction to a fascinating subject. Each individual lecture is short and focused so the amount of new material introduced can always be understood and absorbed by an engaged student. Once key concepts are introduced, they are regularly reinforced in subsequent lectures. Highly recommended for anyone interested in exploring this subject.

por Haaran A

•13 de ene. de 2017

This is a must course those who want to really want to learn more about the theory of relativity which is considered the most confusing theory ,but its actually not true because of this course you can easily understand the course. After completing the course sincerely you would be able to solve basic problems on relativity and even quantum mechanics.

por Gethro O

•28 de abr. de 2020

This course is perfect for anyone interested in science. All you need is high school math and everything else is explained spectacularly well. The pace is a bit slow, but it pays so you can deeply understand each topic as you go on. You won't get bored. The professor is engaging, the Special Theory of Relativity is weird and fun.

TAKE THIS COURSE NOW

por Srijan A M

•9 de abr. de 2020

This course is a very beneficial course.It helped me to increase my knowledge about physics and different phenomenon which occurs in our day to day life. this course helped me to take a better insight of the laws of physics made by the great scientist Albert Einstein. I would prefer all of you to take up this course and be benefited by this course.

por Anton U

•29 de abr. de 2017

This course was amazing, and I'm sad to see it go. It was interesting and full of new things that I have yet to learn and hopefully go more in-depth into during my university studies. I hope more people are informed about this course and I also hope that I still have access to the video lectures for future reference. Thank you for the experience!

por Pranshul J

•16 de may. de 2020

The way of teaching of the professor is just fabulous, I hope Professor Larry makes more courses. He teaches in a clear and easy way. I strongly recommend this course to anyone who is ardent to learn and curious about how the universe works, what is ' the marvelous structure of reality.' No complex mathematics is needed(least of all calculus.)

por Shamim D

•17 de ene. de 2017

Professor Lagerstrom is a great teacher and the course is well organized. While still a little complex for someone with rudimentary or fairly stale science knowledge, Professor Lagerstrom's approach is easy to follow and understand. I especially like his summaries at the end of the course which put together the complex mathematics into simple

por Sanjukta G

•31 de jul. de 2017

Being a high school student, this course looked very daunting to me. However, after the dilemma, whether to choose this course or not, when I finally did choose this course, I felt fortunate that I did. Not only am I getting to learn about the special theory of relativity but also skill-set required to excel in any kind of course. Thank you!

por MOHIT M

•23 de feb. de 2017

The struggle to understand the marvellous structure of reality is an ennobling experience. The course is more engaging than a movie, I literally mean that. Professor Larry takes you on a roller coaster ride. I bet you would love the ride.

P.s. Don't be afraid of maths. Professor Larry has taken care of that part. It's only simple algebra.

por L H

•11 de ene. de 2019

This is hands down the best introduction to the Special Theory of Relativity I have ever found. The instructor really explains everything so lucidly that even lay audiences without a strong math or physics background can grasp the theory. I would really love to see a course by this instructor on the General Theory of Relativity as well!

por Gregorio T

•17 de may. de 2020

This course met 120% my expectations. Prof. Lagestrom has extraordinary teaching skills and assembled a course that allows students to slowly build fundamental blocks of knowledge. I look forward to keep learning with him if any other course is available. It has been a truly memorable experience. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

por Alvaro W

•21 de oct. de 2017

Thank you to Dr. Randles for teaching us this excellent course, for preparing all the lessons in a simple manner, he makes us see the theory easy. And thank you for teaching us not only the scientist, but also the human person through Einstein quotes.

Try to become not a person of success, but try rather to become a person of value

por Edwin R

•29 de mar. de 2020

Great course. Easy to follow and to understand. Also a great compliment to the professor for explaining the material in a clear and easy to follow manner. I have now a clear understanding of the underlying concepts of the special theory of relativity. I would really like to see a similar course on the general theory of relativity.

por Kishore R

•23 de may. de 2017

This course is well laid out and planned. The professor goes through step by step and makes it very easy to understand a very difficult and non-intuitive subject. The qualitative explanations are excellent in giving a sense of what the equations mean.

All in all, an excellent course. Thank you very much for making this available.

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