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May 1, 2013

IBM Researchers Create A Nanotech Movie Out Of Atoms




 Nanotechnology
IBM has made the tiniest stop-motion movie ever – a one-minute video of individual carbon monoxide molecules repeatedly rearranged to show a boy dancing, throwing a ball and bouncing on a trampoline.


I BM researchers have made the tiniest stop-motion movie ever – a one-minute video of individual carbon monoxide molecules repeatedly rearranged to show a boy dancing, throwing a ball and bouncing on a trampoline.

Each frame measures 45 by 25 nanometres – there are 25 million nanometres in an inch – but hugely magnified, the movie is reminiscent of early video games, particularly when the boy bounces the ball off the side of the frame accompanied by simple music and sound effects.

IBM atom animation


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Each one of the dots in the animation is one carbon monoxide molecule (one carbon atom and one oxygen atom), on top of a surface of copper. With a scanning tunneling electron microscope, the IBM researchers moved all those atoms by hand, one at a time, to create 242 individual frame of animation, seen at more than 100 million times their actual size.

It took a team of four scientists two weeks, working 18-hour days, to create A Boy and His Atom, which works out to about 1.3 hours to produce and image each frame.

Although the project is interesting, there is a firm research interest behind it – to define the limits of magnetic data storage.  With these findings the IBM researchers determined that data can successfully be stored with 12 atoms.  Typical transistors used today use about a million atoms.

To put this in context, Andreas Heinrich says that this would mean that every movie ever made could be stored on your mobile phone.  

Further information on  how the movie was made, is available in the video below.




SOURCE  IBM

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