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The so-called "break-junction technique" allows us to realize contacts only single-atom in diameter at their thinnest point. Electronic transport through such narrow constrictions shows a quantum mechanical signature which is well described in a transport channel picture. Each individual contact is characterized by an ensemble of channel transmission probabilities. Preferred total conductance values as well as the number of channels, however, turn out to be universal for the materialdoi:10.12693/aphyspola.109.305 fatcat:wkj6jgvisjhsfed5eriuyuvhqe