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Several people have sent me links to newsstories about last week's Nature paper, "Quantum ground state and single-phonon control of a mechanical resonator." (It was also presented at the March Meeting, but I didn't go to that session). This is billed as the first observation of quantum phenomena with a "macroscopic" or "naked eye visible" object.

Of course, there's a nice bit of irony in a story about quantum effects in a "naked eye visible" object that is accompanied by an image of the object in question taken with a scanning electron microscope. The longest dimension of the object in question is about the thickness of a human hair, which means it technically is naked-eye visible, provided you have pretty good eyes. In a different context, though, something this size would probably be billed as "nanotechnology" (as its smallest dimension is about one micron, or 1000 nanometers).

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