Condensed matter systems are beginning to display coherent quantum phenomena, behavior that until now had been only the domain of quantum optics. In fact, researchers have recently succeeded in preparing a Single Electron Transistor (SET) into a quantum superposition. These exciting developments have wide reaching implications to basic quantum theory, Where is the boundary between the classical and the quantum world?, to ultimate measurement limits for gravitational wave detector read-out. The purpose of these technical lectures is to give the audience a primer in the basic physics and advanced tools which are being used to realize these experiments. The colloquium lecture gives an example of how these state-of-the-art measurement techniques are used to observe an exciting new mesoscopic behavior in nanostructures, the universal quantum of thermal conductance.