Mathematical intuition behind Special and General Relativity

Mastering Special and General Relativity: Calculus, Tensors, Lagrangian Mechanics, Einstein's ground-breaking articles
(126) Ratings
6,043 students
Created by Emanuele Pesaresi

What you'll learn

  • Special Relativity
  • General Relativity
  • Lagrangian mechanics
  • tensors
  • Lorentz transformations
  • time dilation
  • length contraction
  • field equations
  • how to construct a Lagrangian
  • geodesics
  • equivalence principle
  • covariant formulation of physics
  • covariant derivatives
  • how to motivate EVERY equation in Special and General Relativity
  • proof of E=mc^2
  • why photons have momentum
This course includes:
19 total hours on-demand video
0 articles
15 downloadable resources
95 lessons
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of completion

Course content


  • Multivariable Calculus (derivatives, integrals, Divergence theorem, vectors, matrix multiplication, determinants)
  • Classical mechanics (Newton’s laws, kinetic energy, potential, Galileo’s transformations)
  • Maxwell’s equations (even a basic knowledge could be enough)


Mastering Special and General Relativity: from the incompatibility between Galileo’s principle and Maxwell’s equations to the unraveling of the greatest “mathematical secrets” of the universe.

Students who take the course will learn the following:

  1. Understand the incompatibility between Galileo’s principle and Maxwell’s equations.

  2. Formulate Special Relativity and General Relativity consistently.

  3. Develop the mathematical intuition required to fully grasp and appreciate the contents of these subjects.

  4. Learn about Lagrangian mechanics and the Action Principle.

  5. Understand tensors and their applications in relativity.

  6. Derive Lorentz transformations in two different ways.

  7. Learn about the mathematics required to follow the part on General Relativity.

  8. Meet the prerequisite requirements, including Calculus and Multivariable Calculus.

  9. Develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and mathematical reasoning.

  10. Build a strong foundation in advanced physics and mathematics, which can be applied in future studies or research.

Here are some benefits of taking the course on Special and General Relativity:

  1. Gain a deep understanding of the principles and concepts underlying Special and General Relativity, which are foundational to modern physics and astronomy.

  2. Develop strong mathematical skills required to fully grasp and appreciate the subject matter, including Lagrangian mechanics and tensor calculus.

  3. Learn how to derive important equations in Special and General Relativity, including the Lorentz transformations and the Einstein field equations.

  4. Gain insight into the implications of Special and General Relativity for our understanding of space, time, and gravity, and how these concepts are used in modern physics and astronomy.

  5. Engage with a challenging and stimulating subject matter, which can help to develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

  6. Potentially open up opportunities for further study or research in the fields of physics, astronomy, or related areas.

  7. Gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from tackling a complex and challenging subject and mastering its concepts and techniques.

Course description:

  1. We start by explaining the problem with Galileo’s principle and Maxwell’s equations and how this led to the formulation of Special Relativity.

  2. We expand the discussion to General Relativity and highlight the importance of mathematical intuition in fully grasping the concepts.

  3. We motivate every equation in the course to help students understand the underlying principles and theories.

  4. We provide a comprehensive explanation of Lagrangian mechanics and tensors, which are essential to understanding Special and General Relativity.

  5. We assume a prerequisite knowledge of Calculus and Multivariable Calculus, including the divergence theorem, vectors, dot and cross products, matrix multiplication, and determinants.

  6. We suggest some basic knowledge of Classical physics, including scalar potential, Newton’s laws, kinetic energy, energy conservation, and the wave equation.

  7. The first part of the course will focus on Lorentz transformations and derive them in two different ways, providing a simpler mathematics to follow along.

  8. The second part of the course will focus on General Relativity, where a pencil and paper are recommended to derive the equations, ensuring that students meet the prerequisite requirements.

  9. We provide students with a comprehensive understanding of Special and General Relativity and inspire them to appreciate and apply the theories.

  10. The course is designed for students who are passionate about physics and mathematics, especially those interested in pursuing higher education in these fields.

Who this course is for:

  • students who want to motivate EVERY equation constituting the foundations of both Special and General Relativity
  • students who aim to obtain a thorough understanding of the Lagrangian formulation of Physics
  • students interested in learning tensors
  • students who desire to learn Special Relativity
  • students who desire to learn General Relativity
  • mathematicians
  • physicists
  • astronomers
  • aerospace engineers
  • cosmologists
Free Udemy Coupons
Register New Account