IBM have made a short movie out of single carbon monoxide molecules, titled 'A Boy And His Atom.' It has been verified by Guinness World Records™ as The World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.
Following their creation of the world's smallest magnetic memory bit, made of just 12 atoms, researchers decided to have a bit of fun by moving individual atoms and recording it through a microscope.
Using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), they maneuvered the individual carbon monoxide molecules around a copper plate 'movie set' using magnetism. To even see a molecule, you have to magnify it over 100 million times, a point at which you can see waves of disturbance in the electron density as they move.
It took ten 18-hour days to make just one minute of footage, but the scientists think it was worth it - the aim of the film was to get people who aren't normally interested in science to think about the possibilities, and if that happens then these researchers will be happy.
"In current technology, we’re shrinking down the components year by year," Andreas Heinrich, the principle investigator on the project commented. "You ask yourself, 'when is that going to end?' But if you think about it, the ultimate end is the single atom."
IBM also made a 'behind the scenes,' it's a fascinating piece that will get anybody back into the world of science.