Everything about the movies is typically big: the sets, celebrities, explosions and much more. Using the smallest object known for engineering data storage – atoms - IBM scientists shrunk the big screen down to the atomic level and created "The World’s Smallest Movie: A Boy and His Atom."
In a breakthrough requiring thousands of precisely placed atoms to act as actors, props, and scenes, the tiny Guinness World Record certified movie is comprised of almost 250 stop-motion frames that were combined into an animated film.
To help bring this world of atoms to life, the scientists used a unique two-ton microscope that operates at -268 degrees Celsius to tell a short story of a boy (who’s made of atoms) playing with an individual atom.
This team of scientists also used these same tools and techniques to beam Star Trek fans to another dimension to see franchise-inspired images they made out of atoms. These images will launch exclusively on the Star Trek Into Darkness mobile app.
Developing the first atom-sized stop motion film and Star Trek images isn’t entirely new ground for IBM. In the age of Big Data, as storage needs get bigger, the technology to store it has to get smaller — down to the atomic level. In commercial applications today, it takes 1 million atoms to store a single bit of data, but IBM recently announced atomic-scale memory technology that can store a bit of data with only 12 atoms and could one day store every movie ever made in a device the size of a fingernail.
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