The First Quantum Machine

Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1604
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1604

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Until now, all machines have moved according to the not-surprising laws of classical mechanics, which govern the motion of everyday objects. In contrast, a tiny machine unveiled this year jiggles in ways explicable only by the weird rules of quantum mechanics, which ordinarily govern molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. The proto-quantum machine opens the way to myriad experimental devices and perhaps tests of our sense of reality. That potential and the ingenuity of the experiment make it the Breakthrough of the Year.