The course is divided into 5 parts and includes 22 lectures.
Part 1 is an introduction to the course, with one lecture explaining the course content.
Part 2 covers the origins of special relativity and includes 5 lectures that discuss the problem of ether wind, the MichelsonMorley experiment, FitzGeraldLorentz contraction, time dilation, and the Lorentz transformation.
Part 3 focuses on the consequences of special relativity and includes 4 lectures covering relativistic energy and momentum, length contraction, the relativistic Doppler effect, and relativistic particle acceleration.
Part 4 explores the applications of special relativity and includes 8 lectures discussing the twin paradox, time travel, Lorentz transformations in spacetime, the geometry of Minkowski spacetime, the equivalence principle and general relativity, gravitational waves, black holes, and cosmology.
Part 5 is an epilogue and includes 4 lectures discussing Einstein's legacy, E=mc² and nuclear energy, the particle adventure, and concluding remarks.
Overall, this course provides a detailed and accessible overview of the special theory of relativity and its applications.
Course Content:
The course Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity by Larry Randles Lagerstrom on Coursera consists of 5 parts and a total of 22 lectures. Here is a breakdown of the course:
Part 1: Introduction to the Course (1 lecture)
 Lecture 1: Introduction to the Course
Part 2: Origins of Special Relativity (5 lectures)
 Lecture 2: The Problem of Ether Wind
 Lecture 3: MichelsonMorley Experiment
 Lecture 4: FitzGeraldLorentz Contraction
 Lecture 5: Time Dilation
 Lecture 6: The Lorentz Transformation
Part 3: Consequences of Special Relativity (4 lectures)
 Lecture 7: Relativistic Energy and Momentum
 Lecture 8: Length Contraction
 Lecture 9: Relativistic Doppler Effect
 Lecture 10: Relativistic Particle Acceleration
Part 4: Applications of Special Relativity (8 lectures)
 Lecture 11: The Twin Paradox
 Lecture 12: Time Travel and the Twin Paradox
 Lecture 13: Lorentz Transformation in SpaceTime
 Lecture 14: The Geometry of Minkowski SpaceTime
 Lecture 15: The Equivalence Principle and General Relativity
 Lecture 16: Gravitational Waves
 Lecture 17: Black Holes
 Lecture 18: Cosmology
Part 5: Epilogue (4 lectures)
 Lecture 19: Einstein's Legacy
 Lecture 20: E=mc² and Nuclear Energy
 Lecture 21: The Particle Adventure
 Lecture 22: Concluding Remarks
In addition to the lectures, the course includes quizzes, assignments, and interactive exercises to help students reinforce their learning and assess their understanding of the material. Overall, the course is suitable for anyone with an interest in physics and a basic understanding of algebra and geometry.
Reviews:
Based on reviews and feedback from previous students, Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity by Larry Randles Lagerstrom is a highly regarded course on Coursera. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental principles and concepts of special relativity, which is a crucial component of modern physics.
One of the strengths of the course is its clear and concise explanations. Many students have praised the course for its ability to explain complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand. The lectures are wellstructured and provide a solid foundation for the material.
The interactive exercises, quizzes, and assignments are also highly appreciated by students. These elements allow students to test their understanding of the material and reinforce their learning. The course structure allows students to learn at their own pace and provides a flexible approach to the material.
However, one potential criticism of the course is that it may be challenging for students without a strong background in math and physics. The course relies heavily on mathematical notation, which may be difficult for those who have not studied physics before. However, the course does provide explanations of the mathematical concepts, which may be helpful for those who need a refresher.
Overall, Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity is an excellent course for those who are interested in learning about special relativity. The course provides a solid foundation in the topic and is suitable for both beginners and those with some prior knowledge of physics. The clear explanations, interactive exercises, and flexible course structure make it an excellent option for anyone interested in learning about this fascinating topic.
At the time, the course has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars based on over 2,867 ratings.
What you'll learn:
After completing Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity by Larry Randles Lagerstrom on Coursera, students should have developed the following skills:

Understanding of the fundamental principles of special relativity: Students will have a thorough understanding of the principles and concepts of special relativity, including the postulates of special relativity, time dilation, length contraction, and the relativity of simultaneity.

Ability to apply mathematical concepts: The course heavily relies on mathematical concepts, and students should be able to apply mathematical formulas and equations to solve problems related to special relativity.

Critical thinking and problemsolving skills: The course provides many examples and exercises that require critical thinking and problemsolving skills. Students should be able to analyze and solve problems related to special relativity.

Communication skills: The course requires students to communicate their understanding of special relativity through assignments and quizzes. As a result, students should be able to explain the principles and concepts of special relativity in a clear and concise manner.

Appreciation for modern physics: Finally, students should have a deeper appreciation for modern physics and the role that special relativity plays in our understanding of the universe.
Overall, Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity provides students with a strong foundation in special relativity, including both theoretical concepts and practical problemsolving skills.
Author:
Larry Randles Lagerstrom is a physicist and an experienced educator who has taught physics and astronomy for many years. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Riverside, and has authored several books on the topic of physics.
Dr. Lagerstrom's expertise in physics and his passion for teaching are evident in his "Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity" course on Coursera. His teaching style is clear and concise, making complex concepts easy to understand. He has an engaging and dynamic approach to teaching, which keeps students engaged and motivated.
Dr. Lagerstrom's research interests include theoretical physics, astrophysics, and the history of science. He has published numerous articles in peerreviewed journals and has presented his research at conferences around the world.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Lagerstrom has also worked in the aerospace industry, where he has applied his expertise in physics to realworld problems. This experience has given him a unique perspective on the practical applications of physics, which he brings to his teaching.
Overall, Dr. Lagerstrom is a highly qualified and experienced physicist and educator. His expertise in physics, passion for teaching, and engaging teaching style make him an excellent choice to teach a course on special relativity.
Requirements:
The requirements for Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity by Larry Randles Lagerstrom on Coursera are:

Basic knowledge of algebra and calculus: The course heavily relies on mathematical concepts, so students should have a basic understanding of algebra and calculus.

Familiarity with classical mechanics: Students should have a basic understanding of classical mechanics, including concepts such as velocity, acceleration, and force.

Basic understanding of electromagnetism: Students should have a basic understanding of electromagnetism, including concepts such as electric fields and magnetic fields.

Access to a computer and the internet: The course is delivered entirely online, so students should have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection.

Strong English language skills: The course materials and assessments are in English, so students should have strong English language skills to fully engage with the course content.
Overall, the requirements for the course are relatively modest, but a basic understanding of mathematics and physics is necessary to fully engage with the material.
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