PerspectiveQuantum Materials

Little is lost

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Science  18 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6390, pp. 706-707
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1983

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Mechanical engineering is an ancient human craft, yet one that keeps emerging in ever-changing forms. Take the development of musical instruments as an example. Over the course of centuries, instrument makers mastered the selection of materials, geometrical design, and mechanical forces to generate new sounds and enable new musical styles. In recent years, physicists learned to apply similar engineering techniques to nanoscale mechanical resonators. Their efforts yielded immensely useful sensing tools, such as the atomic force microscope (1) and resonator devices that could play a decisive role in quantum information technology. On page 764 of this issue, Ghadimi et al. (2) demonstrate an important step in engineering the performance of such devices to an unprecedented level.