Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Ado about nothing much?

Reports of signals travelling faster than the speed of light have captured the imagination of scientists and laymen alike. But there is an explanation for these effects that leaves Einstein's tenet intact.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Faster than the speed of light?


  1. Winful, H. G. Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 023901 (2003).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Steinberg, A. M., Kwiat, P. G. & Chiao, R. Y. Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 708–711 (1993).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Nimtz, G., Enders, A. & Spieker, H. J. Phys. I (France) 4, 565–570 (1994).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Spielmann, C., Szipöcs, R., Stingl, A. & Krausz, F. Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 2308–2311 (1994).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ranfagni, A., Mugnai, D., Fabeni, P. & Pazzi, G. P. Appl. Phys. Lett. 58, 774–776 (1991).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Japha, Y. & Kurizki, G. Phys. Rev. A 53, 586–590 (1996).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Sommerfeld, A. Phys. Z. 8, 841–842 (1907).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Brillouin, L. Ann. Phys. 44, 203–240 (1914).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Büttiker, M. & Landauer, R. Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 1739–1742 (1982).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Büttiker, M. & Thomas, H. Ann. Phys. (Leipz.) 7, 602–617 (1998).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Deutch, J. M. & Low, F. E. Ann. Phys. 288, 184–202 (1993).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Steinberg, A. M., Kwiat, P. G. & Chiao, R. Y. Fund. Phys. Lett. 7, 223–239 (1994).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Büttiker, M. Phys. Rev. B 27, 6178–6188 (1983).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gasparian, V., Ortuño, M., Ruiz, J. & Cuevas, E. Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 2312–2315 (1995).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Büttiker, M., Washburn, S. Ado about nothing much?. Nature 422, 271–272 (2003).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing