A Boy And His Atom. The worlds smallest stop-motion film.
A team of IBM scientists created this short animation by moving individual carbon monoxide molecules using a scanning tunneling microscope, infact it can only be seen when magnified 100 million times. For this film the Guinness World Records awarded them the title of The World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.
The film uses Carbon monoxide molecules which have one carbon atom and one oxygen atom on top. The scanning tunneling microscope itself is operated at a temperature of -268 degrees celsius on top of a copper plate because copper, in combination with carbon monoxide, produced the most stable atoms for moving. The microscope essentially acts as a needle that drags atoms across a surface using magnetism.The ripples around the atoms are caused by the disturbance in electron density in the copper atoms when a carbon monoxide molecule comes close to the plate. Very similar to the way water ripples when you throw a rock into a lake.
The film was developed in California, USA and lasts for 60 seconds read more about that research here. The research is part of larger efforts at IBM to reduce the physical size of data storage on computers. It shows the story of a boy named Atom, who befriends an atom and goes on to dance, play catch, and even bounce on a trampoline.
Source video here. How it was made here. Download the movie here.