The First Movie Made of Atoms
IBM is hard at work cranking away on movies to revolutionize the world, those made of Atoms. Not really, but IBM used atoms to make a movie in order to make people think more about questions and thoughts they wouldn’t normally think of. Such as what is an atom, what are we made of, how we got here, etc. Plus sometimes you just need to have a little fun with science. It is pretty cool to be able to see one of the world’s smallest particles made into a movie. However, it did take 10 days straight of 18 hour days to produce the various images which were then combined into a film. That means it took 1.9 hours per second of film, just for that phase. Plus all of the editing and other work that went into it. Watch the film here, it is actually pretty entertaining. Every one of the dots in the movie is actually an atom. The atoms were rearranged for each frame using a scanning tunneling microscope which was invented at IBM over 30 years ago. The microscope is works at -450 Fahrenheit and can magnify surfaces by 100 million times.
The real use of the tool is normally for data storage and computation, the team even hopes of building a quantum computer. They hope to do so through understanding the way atoms work. Recently they had a breakthrough in creating a hard drive that can store a bit of data with only 12 atoms. The main idea is making data storage more robust, such as storing all of the world’s movies on a thumb drive without a problem. Or maybe a little computer that can crack any code or encryption in the world.