Week in Geek: fun with atoms edition

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As part of their effort to improve data storage technology, scientists at IBM made this stop-motion animation entitled “A Boy and His Atom”. The video is made entirely of carbon atoms. Each frame was made using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to manipulate the individual atoms. STMs work by passing an electrically charged needle over a metal surface with tiny raised features. As the needle passes over these features, electrons tunnel or “jump” from the needle to the metal. The video is essentially 242 still frames of this transition happening over various features in the metal surface. You can watch a video on how the movie was made here and some additional atomic shorts here.

Now for some science on the macro scale:

Revel in the geek. @Summer_Ash

Rachel Maddow Show Geek

Week in Geek: fun with atoms edition

Updated