IBM makes feeble movie about a boy #MadeWithAtoms

Atom manipulation makes for world record.

IBM atom movie

IBM (NYSE:IBM) produces the worst animated movie I've ever seen. Terrible production values, laughable plot, and awful soundtrack. At least it's mercifully short. Two thumbs down. Still, it does at least show what's possible when you manipulate and photograph individual atoms.

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Seth Borenstein reports:

Scientists have taken the idea of a film short down to new levels. ... IBM says it has made the tiniest stop-motion movie ever [made] of individual carbon monoxide molecules.


Each frame measures 45 by 25 nanometers — there are 25 million nanometers in an inch. ... IBM used a remotely operated two-ton scanning tunneling 450 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (268 degrees below zero Celsius).  MORE

Jason Palmer speaks unto nation:

The stop-motion animation uses a few dozen carbon atoms, moved around with the tiny tip of...a scanning tunnelling microscope. ... The extraordinary feat of atomic precision has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. ... The device works by passing an electrically charged, phenomenally sharp metal needle across the surface. ... As the tip nears features on the surface, the charge can "jump the gap" in a quantum physics effect called tunnelling.


It underlines the growing ability of scientists to manipulate matter on the atomic level, which IBM scientists hope to use to create future data storage solutions.  MORE

SPOILER WARNING: Daniel Terdiman tells us the plot:

Called "A boy and his atom," the animated film features a small boy having a good old time as he bounces around, playing catch, and dancing [in] 130 atoms that were painstakingly placed, atom by atom.

...four researchers spent nine 18-hour days moving the 130 atoms around so they could create the exact imagery they needed for their film.  MORE

Yes, yes. Great fun, but WHY, Gareth Halfacree?

It's not all about frivolity and the kudos that comes with an unlikely entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, though. ... IBM is hoping that the technology...will pave the way forward for novel computer circuits that can bypass the rapidly-approaching physical limits that threaten to put an end to Moore's Law. .


The team behind the animation has already created the world's smallest magnetic bit, constructed from just 12 atoms - compared to the million atoms a traditional bit takes up on a mechanical hard drive.  MORE

Meanwhile, ifeu quips, uncertainly:

So... did the boy act differently when he was watched?.  MORE

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