If you jump ahead to watch this new short film, you might think you’re watching a recently-unearthed stop-motion animation from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century’s accomplished filmmaker Georges Méliès. In fact, you’d be watching a cutting edge stop-motion short created by IBM data storage researchers who use scanning tunneling microscopes to manipulate atoms into position and then take still-frame images at 100 million times magnification. Yeah.
The Guinness World Record-certified short, The World’s Smallest Film: A Boy and His Atom, is simple in concept but ridiculously complex in its design. Luckily, we not only have the film to share with you but a behind-the-scenes featurette that introduces the filmmakers/researchers, the technology and their reason for making the film. As a bonus, there are also some famous Star Trek icon images and GIFs made using the same technology! Hit the jump to view it all … for science!
Check out The World’s Smallest Movie: A Boy and His Atom below, followed by a making-of featurette and the Star Trek images (via IBM):
Here’s more on IBM’s data storage research and filmmaking process:
About IBM’s “The World’s Smallest Movie: A Boy and His Atom”
Using the smallest object known for engineering data storage – atoms – IBM scientists shrunk the big screen down to the atomic level and created “The World’s Smallest Movie: A Boy and His Atom.” The tiny Guinness World Record certified movie is comprised of almost 250 stop-motion frames that were combined into an animated film. To help bring this world of atoms to life, the scientists used their scanning tunneling microscope, a unique two-ton microscope that operates at -268 degrees Celsius to tell a short story of a boy (who’s made of atoms) playing with an individual atom. You can check out IBM’s movie, behind-the-scenes footage, video diaries and atomic shorts on different technical aspects of the movie here: youtube.com/