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The Next Big(ger) Thing

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Science  09 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6073, pp. 1167
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6073.1167

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The U.S. Department of Energy is exploring plans to launch a major new research initiative in mesoscale science, where the quantum world of single atoms and small atomic clusters meets the bulk scale of classical physics. The mesoscale is a step up in size and complexity from the nanoscale, which has been the focus of more than $18 billion in U.S. research since the National Nanotechnology Initiative took shape in 2001. It's in this no-man's land between quantum and classical physics that a wide array of "emergent" phenomena reveal themselves.