blog post

A Boy and His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie – Friday Video

This amazing movie was made using a microscope that can visualize atoms at 100 million times magnification. This microscope, known as a scanning tunneling microscope, can also move atoms around. For more, see Bob’s post about Heinrich Rohrer, the late nobel prize winner who helped design the scanning tunneling microscope. Using this type of microscope, scientists at IBM started with a super flat surface, sprinkled carbon monoxide molecules around on that surface, and moved them around frame by frame to create this movie.

While this movie is just for fun, understanding what molecules are on the surfaces of objects is critically important—from making newer more powerful computers (like at IBM and other companies) to understanding how nanoparticles will behave in the environment or in biological systems (like we do).

For more on nanoparticle surfaces, check out these posts:
Why are Nanomaterials so Special and What is the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology?
Nanomedicine Explainer – My Cat is in a Clinical Trial
Nanoparticles With Your Coffee? A Java-Infused Science Experiment!
What Does Sustainable Have To Do With Nano?
Nature’s Nanomachines Harnessed to Enable Healthier Delicious Ice Cream
Surfing Particles: taking a ride using living cell machinery
Why Does Old Ice Cream Get Crunchy?
Nature’s nanotechnology, bio-mimicry, and making the superpowers of your dreams a reality
How do Lithium Ion Batteries Work? A Nanotechnology Explainer
Liquor Aging, Tiny Barrels, and Next Generation Solar Cells