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?
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.
- 5 stars90.55%
- 4 stars8.10%
- 3 stars0.77%
- 2 stars0.21%
- 1 star0.35%
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. The knowledge I have gained is something that I will treasure and will propel me to keep studying and trying to understand our wonderful universe.
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.
Hats off to the professor for being able to explain such mind-boggling concepts about the very nature of existence in an entertaining and intuitive way. One of my favorite courses on Coursera by far!
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.