A Boy and His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie

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A Boy and His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie


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“If an atom was the size of an orange, then the orange would be the size of the whole planet earth.”

Believe it or not, you’ve just watched the Guinness World Records-certified world’s smallest movie. Produced by a team of IBM nanophysicists, the movie was compiled from images captured using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) operating at near-absolute zero and magnified 100 million times. Each frame in the movie measures approximately 1/20,000th the width of a human hair, while the movie itself is comprised of 242 frames. Like any film-based makers, they storyboarded their concept, with each frame requiring more than one hour to move the atoms into place for capture:


Just as fascinating as the movie itself are the team and tech behind this stop-motion animation, captured in this making-of video:

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The IBM Research ‘made with atoms’ website contains a lot more information about this world’s smallest movie set.

[via ExtremeTech]

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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