IBM scientists Wednesday unveiled what they called "the world's smallest movie," which tracks the movement of atoms magnified 100 million times.
The film, "A Boy and His Atom," depicts a character named Atom who befriends a single atom and follows him on a journey of dancing and bouncing that helps explain the science behind data storage.
"Capturing, positioning and shaping atoms to create an original motion picture on the atomic-level is a precise science and entirely novel," said Andreas Heinrich, a scientist at IBM Research.
"At IBM, researchers don't just read about science, we do it. This movie is a fun way to share the atomic-scale world while opening up a dialogue with students and others on the new frontiers of math and science."
To make the movie, the atoms were moved with an IBM-invented scanning tunneling microscope, a device which earned its inventors a Nobel Prize.
The tool "was the first device that enabled scientists to visualize the world all the way down to single atoms," said IBM researcher Christopher Lutz.