Treasury notes are a debt obligation issued by the U.S. Treasury, with a validation period of no more than 1 year but less than a decade.
Treasury notes can be bought through a bank or directly from t he US government, they are popular investments as there is big secondary market that adds to their liquidity.
You can earn interest payments every six months until maturity, income on these treasury notes are taxed on a federal level rather than a municipal or state level.
The income return on investment (yield) is determined whether a competitive bid or non-competitive bid has been put in. A competitive bid will allow you to specify the yield (this does not necessarily mean that your offer will be accepted). If you chose to accept whatever yield is decided at auction, this is known as an uncompetitive bid.
The 10 year treasury note is the most talked about security when looking at how well the US government bond market is performing, it is also used to denote the market's take on longer-term macroeconomic expectations.