Atomic film

Last year we featured Nokia’s Small World stop motion film. Featuring a character 9mm tall, it was then the smallest film ever made. Now IBM nanotechnologists have significantly bettered that with this film made on an atomic scale:

Each frame of the atomic film is painstakingly constructed out of individual atoms before being recorded by an electron microscope (i.e. not a Nokia mobile phone). Here’s more on how they made it:

As it happens, the electron microscope is the same tool that is used to move the atoms around – here’s how:

It might seem like IBM’s researchers basically just spend all their time messing around with terribly expensive equipment, but the atomic film is actually part of wider research into atomic memory. It currently takes 1,000,000 atoms to represent one bit of memory (a one or a zero), but IBM have now found the same thing can be achieved with just 12 atoms. That will mean much faster and more powerful computers, but it IBM say it could be 10 to 30 years before this type of memory is commercially available.

More info at IBM Research

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