May 4 (): IBM scientists unveiled on Wednesday what they called “the world’s smallest movie,” which tracks the movement of atoms magnified 100 million times.
The film is made by IBM with the title, “A Boy and His Atom”. IBM said the movie was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Smallest Stop Motion Film”. The movie depicts a character named Atom who makes friends with a single atom and follows him on a journey of dancing and bouncing that helps explain the science behind data storage.
IBM has made this film while scientists were exploring ways to move individual atoms in order to shrink the space needed to store computer data. To make the movie, the atoms were relocated with an IBM-invented scanning tunnelling microscope, which magnifies objects 100 million times their original size.
IBM researcher Christopher Lutz said the scanning tunnelling microscope “was the first device that enabled scientists to visualize the world all the way down to single atoms”.
The film used a microscope that controlled a super-sharp needle along a copper surface to attract atoms and molecules and pull them to a precisely specified location on the surface.
IBM said this kind of science is needed to help improve computer data storage as tech firms run into physical limitations using traditional techniques.
Andreas Heinrich, Principal Investigator of IBM Research department said that capturing, positioning and shaping atoms to create an original motion picture on the atomic level was a precise science and entirely novel.
He added that at IBM, researchers do not just read about science, they do it. He say this movie is a fun way to share the atomic-scale world while opening up a dialogue with students and others on the new frontiers of math and science.
So far, on YouTube, the video has amassed more than 2.3 million views. People are fascinated with the microscopic feature of the film and its technology.