Quantcast
Latest Stories

IBM makes tiny movie by pushing molecules around



WHITE PLAINS, New York—Scientists have taken the idea of a film short down to new levels. Molecular levels.

IBM says it 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.

Each frame measures 45 by 25 nanometers — there are 25 million nanometers 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.

The movie is titled “A Boy and His Atom.”

Videos showing atoms in motion have been seen before but Andreas Heinrich, IBM’s principal scientist for the project, said Tuesday this is the first time anything so small has been maneuvered to tell a story.

“This movie is a fun way to share the atomic-scale world,” Heinrich said. “The reason we made this was not to convey a scientific message directly, but to engage with students, to prompt them to ask questions.”

Jamie Panas of Guinness World Records said Guinness certified the movie as “Smallest Stop-Motion Film.”

IBM used a remotely operated two-ton scanning tunneling microscope at its lab in San Jose, California, to make the movie earlier this year. The microscope magnifies the surface over 100 million times. It operates at 450 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (268 degrees below zero Celsius).

The cold “makes life simpler for us,” Heinrich said. “The atoms hold still. They would move around on their own at room temperature.”

Scientists used the microscope to control a tiny, super-sharp needle along a copper surface, IBM said. At a distance of just 1 nanometer, the needle physically attracted the carbon monoxide molecules and pulled them to a precisely specified location on the surface.

The dots that make up the figures in the movie are the oxygen atoms in the molecule, Heinrich said.

The scientists took 242 still images that make up the movie’s 242 frames.

Heinrich said the techniques used to make the movie are similar to what IBM is doing to make data storage smaller.

“As data creation and consumption continue to get bigger, data storage needs to get smaller, all the way down to the atomic level,” he said.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:

No related posts found!





Recent Stories:

Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York 8 mins elapsed Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina 29 mins elapsed Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat 39 mins elapsed Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win 41 mins elapsed Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite 42 mins elapsed Canadians rally to legalize marijuana 1 hour elapsed Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener 1 hour elapsed S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Atom , IBM , Molecule , Short Film , technology

  • Juan_Smith

    aaah! my brain has reached its limit. . . I have to let it re-cofigure.

  • Mux

    That’s amazing!!



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  4. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  5. Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  6. Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  7. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  8. Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  10. Aquino may be ousted for cybercrime law, says lawmaker
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  3. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  4. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  5. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  6. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  7. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Online-addicted man arrested over son’s death
  10. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest
  10. Filipino artist copies piece from digital art

News

  • Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York
  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace