May 1 2013, 6:53am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
The handling of lone atoms on a copper surface has yielded a virtual movie which is on display for the world to watch on YouTube. IBM makes this smallest video on a global basis. A couple of dozen carbon atoms have been aligned and animated using a microscopic instrument. This has given the illusion of an individual figure that is acting on a stage. The movie
entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest feat of video dynamics. A thousand of its frames would equal the cross-sectional span of a human hair.
It is a staggering feat of atomic genius. The whole project was part of IBM’s introduction of future generation data storage devices before a world audience. The microscopes used for these experiments have shown not only atoms but the bonds between various atoms. The movie’s title was “A Boy and His Atom.” This lighter side of atomic life has the researchers at IBM
in a jovial mood. Seeing that it is a first-time project, they have every right to take great pride in this achievement. The particles got enlarged a hundred million times their original size for the stage.
The movie is barely 90 seconds long. What this means is that it is over before you even know it. But the technology that went into its making is no less than the effort that goes into making a real-life blockbuster movie. The ephemeral movie depicts a boy playing around with an atom. The microscope weighing two tons used in sliding and animating the atoms was operating at an unbelievable temperature of minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit. As for the extra-sharp needle that moved the atoms by sheer attraction, it was one nanometer in its dimensions.
Besides this IBM has also invented some atomic images which have fascinated the onlookers who are stuck in rapt attention. One such shows letters that go on to make up the words “Star Trek.” This magic show of the atomic world is something which won’t be forgotten so easily. It will remain one of the mini-wonders of planet earth. It’s something human beings in their capacity as Homo sapiens accomplished using their wits and wisdom.
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