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Researchers Race to Put the Quantum Into Mechanics

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Science  03 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5603, pp. 36-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5603.36

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Summary

Machines that make the slightest possible motion could lead to wild new technologies and help reveal why the weird rules of the microscopic realm don't apply to our everyday world. At least four groups hope to reach the quantum limit of motion within months. The feat could open the way for tiny, fingerlike force detectors with the highest possible sensitivity. Such detectors might enable researchers to quickly decode DNA and other large molecules, and someday they might serve as the guts of superfast quantum computers.

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