Thursday, May 2, 2013

IBM Makes Atom-Sized Short Animation

It may look like a child's first attempt at stop-motion animation, but once we realize we're looking at individual atoms dancing on a copper plate, things suddenly take a whole new dimension. This short animation movie (actually, the "smallest" in the world as confirmed by the Guinness World Records) was made by IBM - which have been playing around with atoms for quite a while now - by moving around carbon monoxide molecules (1 carbon atom + 1 oxygen atom) on a copper plate.

One can't stop but wonder this kind of technology will allow, once it advances to the point of getting out of the lab and into marketable products (for reference, most chips today are made using 20-45nm, or greater, resolutions - with Intel promising 14nm chips for 2014; a helium atom has a diameter of just 0.1nm). Can you imagine the tiny electronics we have today being minimized hundreds of times further?

... Just don't expect it to arrive soon. As you'll be able to see in the "making of" video... the equipment required to make all this possible is still at a stage similar to the first computers (that used to take up entire room). But... you can bet a few decades from now... you might have atom sized storage and atom sized processors in nearly invisible devices spread all around us (maybe even inside us?)

How did they make this? Check the "making-of" video next:

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