Stop motion movie made by moving individual atoms

IBM nanoscientists used a scanning tunneling microscope to push around carbon monoxide atoms to create this stop motion animation. The image has been magnified 100 million times. See below for a video about how the movie was made. "A Boy and His Atom"


    1. Exactly what could they have done to make this not seem an advertisement to you? Can’t you make the claim that any work any entity produces to inform the public about the entity’s existence is an advertisement? And if you do make that argument, aren’t all attributed works advertisements?

      Besides, pretty much everything produced under our society-at-large can be seen as either an advertisement or product, if not both. Even a grade school play could be seen as an advertisement for the school and the local businesses, if you decide to focus on the financials.

      I suppose DeBord was right.

      1. Exactly what happened to your mind to make this not seem incredibly cool to you?

        1. I’m assuming you’re responding to the person I responded to and not me, but if not, what do you mean? I think this is incredibly cool, simply awesome, so to diminish it by saying “yeah, but it’s only an ad” is BS.

          I’m asking where the original poster draws the line between art+tech and advertisements, and whether or not corporate-backing diminishes the artistic and technological feat.

          Obviously, something can be awesome AND an ad. But by the way the post was phrased, it seemed to say “This was cool and innovative up until they put their name on it, at that point it turned into something comparable to a Geico commercial”, to which I stated if you want to think like that, isn’t EVERYTHING an ad once you start worrying about who puts money into what and why, regardless of the awesomeness of the feat?

          So I don’t understand where you’re coming from with that attack.

          1. Sorry, I was replying to the person you were replying to.  Got a little confused there.

  1. Talk about getting ahead of the game…looks like they Rule 34’d their own film at 0:53

  2. How do they get molecules of carbon monoxide gas to stay down on a flat surface in a vacuum?  Are they using some kind of magnetic field or something?

      1.  Or was it -260C? I don’t understand why they don’t just say the temperature in K, which is the only unit that makes sense for cryogenics.

        1. Because billions of people know the Celsius scale and that minus HugeAssNumber degrees Celsius is pretty cold?

          1. The very cold stuff I work on works great at -269C, but fails to  work at all at -267C. Not that it matters to the billions of people who read the article for the gee-whiz aspect.

    1.  That’s my question too. The dots are atoms. Fine, and fantastic work there team! But what’s the flat surface the atoms are *on* made out of :confused:

    1. That looks like a multimillion dollar research lab. What those people do with any given week of their time is not such a big deal.

    1. They’re moving molecules around, but what you see displayed is the Oxygen atom of those molecules. Or so I’ve heard. I was a bit miffed that it took a comment on the article to explain what we were seeing in the video.

      1. Thanks. I keep seeing “carbon monoxide atoms” (like in Pesco’s blurb above) which makes no sense.

        That explains it. They moved carbon monoxide molecules, and what the microscope focuses on is the oxygen atoms (if I’ve understood correctly).

  3. and we cant solve the energy crisis ?
    I am guessing we can, but must be halted by Big OIL

    1.  Information and energy are completely different spheres. That’s why we’ve been able to make memory density increase a billion-fold in the last 50 years, but cars are only twice as efficient.

    1. Maybe the carbon is the mysterious basal matrix and the monoxide bits form the pattern. Which sort of sideways addresses your concern.

  4. I submitted this yesterday. I thought it was absolutely fascinating. I wonder why thy picked CO to work with over another common molecule, like H20 or even C02?

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