Yesterday, IBM took the curtains off its “world’s smallest movie” made using one of the smallest elements in the world – atom. Named “A Boy and His Atom”, the movie has been certified by the Guinness World of Record as the “World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film”. How small is an atom? The images has to be enlarged by 100 million times – according to the team behind the movie, “if an atom was the size of an orange, then the orange would be the size of the whole planet earth”.
All images were taken using IBM’s very own 2-tons scanning tunneling microscope that operates at a temperature of negative 268 degree Celsius. To move the atoms around, the researchers had to use a super sharp needle only 1 nanometer away from the surface – the needle can physically attract atoms and molecules on the surface, thus allowing the researchers to move them around. The movie was made using thousands of atoms in 242 frames of stop-motion action.
Catch the atoms in action in the video below, or hit the break for more videos explaining how things work.