'A Boy and His Atom': IBM releases a stop motion movie animated by atoms

IBM has released the world's smallest movie -- literally. By moving atoms around and taking snapshots of them, a team of researchers at IBM made a minute-long stop motion short film animated only by the movement of atoms.

It shows a boy playing with an atom and, appropriately, is titled "A Boy and His Atom." The project currently holds the Guinness World Record for Smallest Stop Motion film.

"The ability to move single atoms -- the smallest particles of any element in the universe -- is crucial to IBM's research in the field of atomic memory," the description for the movie reads. "But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times. A movie made with atoms."

An additional making-of video was released to explain how the video was created. It can be watched below.

Photo/Video credit: IBM