IBM researchers have produced the smallest stop motion movie in the world. In the film, men composed of dozens of molecules play a leading role.
The film is prepared by means of a scanning tunneling microscope. When the researcher brings the iron needle of the telescope close to the molecule, an attractive force is created between the individual molecule and the needle. Then, the needle can drag the molecule to another location.
To make the animation, the researchers move the molecules. Until they form the desired picture. Then save the picture (frame), and the researcher calculates the second frame. By placing these individual frames one after the other, a miniature stop-motion movie can be made:
In the video below, the researchers explained exactly how they made the video:
Usually, researchers will use the technology behind the video to study computer memory atomically. Last year, researchers announced that they could only store a little information on 12 atoms. A real breakthrough: it usually takes about a million atoms to store a little information. Now that the same information can be stored on twelve atoms, smaller and more powerful computers seem to be taking a step forward.