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back to article Atoms star in ball-bothering boffins' Big Blue movie

IBM Research has proved its worth by moving atoms across a screen to create the world's smallest movie. Big Blue has gone much better with its atomic animation A Boy and His Atom. The movie has 242 frames and lasts just under 100 seconds; any more and it would rapidly become turgidly boring, in your humble hack's opinion. Each …

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Happy

Absolutely!

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Anonymous Coward

Now all they need is a soundtrack.

Atom Heart Mother perhaps?

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Boffin

Or do they?

It has a soundtrack, if you read the article.

That said, I would have gone with Before Your Very Eyes by Atoms for Peace.

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Re: Or do they?

Nah, it'd have to be Particle Man by They Might Be Giants...

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Particle Man

Ooh, good shout. In fact, they could have just based their movie on that song, it would have lent itself very well.

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These don't look like 'atoms', but the molecules which they actually are. There are two parts, if you look very carefully—which change orientation for various...pixtons? axels?—in the movie.

Methinks there's some IBM marketing bending here. Should be called A Boy (could be a girl, for that matter) and his Molecule.

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Paris Hilton

No, it's an artefact

I'm mistaken completely. The apparent 'light'-source changes from area to area.

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Anonymous Coward

Background?

What is the grey background made of, if not atoms? How come they don't show up as little white dots too? (Anon because this is probably a horrendously ignorant question.)

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Re: Background?

I believe it's copper. Possibly the imaging probe doesn't register conductor well, only molecules that don't conduct, or perhaps there's some tuning parameter that emphasizes Oxygen. However, as I mention above, the carbon atom is evident as a smaller item near the O, and it's not an imaging by-product. These are the CO molecules being imaged, not 'atoms'. Guinness should revise their record to 'molecule', because eventually someone is going to do this again with actual single atoms.

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Re: Background?

>What is the grey background made of...

Copper apparently.

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JDX
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Re: Background?

Are those ripples around each atom a visible realisation of quantum probability wavefronts or just an artifact?

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Mushroom

Re: Background?

The background IS made of atoms. You can see the faint reflections of the atomic background around the actual subjects. The reasons they're so hard to see are:

1. The microscope is not focused on the background

2. The atoms in the actual subjects are reflecting more light than the atoms in the background, thus almost obscuring the light being reflected from the background itself.

Explosion, because that's the only reason atoms were invented.

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FAIL

Re: Background?

P.S. I wrote the above response, forgetting the fact that it wasn't a light microscope. Whoopsy.

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Facepalm

Re: Background?

"P.S. I wrote the above response, forgetting the fact that it wasn't a light microscope. Whoopsy."

LOL!

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Black Helicopters

Aperture Science

" At IBM, researchers don’t just read about science, we do it."

Did anyone else think aperture science here :-)

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Re: Aperture Science

Yup, definite echoes of Cave Johnson there.

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Re: Aperture Science

I now have Cave Johnsons voice in my head saying:

"God-dammit Toby, that's why we gave you a flipbook."

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JDX
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Okay, but why bother?

Because they can.

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lol bootnotes

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Pint

graphics

"...lasts just under 100 seconds; any more and it would rapidly become turgidly boring..."

Boring? Rather depends upon that to which you've become accustomed. In the early days of videogaming (early/mid 70's), I spent MANY coins playing games with scarcely better graphics - Boot Hill, Astro Race, Sub Hunt, and many others. In fact, I intend to fire up the old MAME cabinet this evening and wax nostalgic in honor of this clever creation.

I raise my glass to boffins in general and IBM boffins in particular for this bit of cleverness. Why do something like this? Why the hell not?

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Anonymous Coward

So when is...

...the "Boy and His Atom -3D" coming out :-)

Will then next one be a full-length feature of "The Diary of Adrian Molecule"

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How cold?

"a 2 ton scanning tunnelling microscope operating at -286 degrees Celsius"

are you sure about that temperature?

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Headmaster

Re: How cold?

perhaps when the star reaches his teens they'll do a sequel in honour of the old, Bret Easton Ellis flick, "Less Than Absolute Zero"

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Happy

Re: How cold?

""a 2 ton scanning tunnelling microscope operating at -286 degrees Celsius"

are you sure about that temperature?"

Google units translator strikes again?

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Re: How cold?

you need to read this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanning_tunneling_microscope

"temperatures ranging from near zero kelvin to a few hundred degrees Celsius"

ie, -273 C, upwards.. :)

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I Thought it was His Penis

..Until he bounced it.

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Coat

How long before pron?

Rule 34.

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Hoe
Mushroom

Rule 34.

Rule 34 has already been invoked, their first movie was actually a "Two Girls and an Atom" but IBM's marketing boffs went off the idea for some reason.

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Anonymous Coward

Feminist organisations

"Feminist organisations are picketing Almaden ... saying there shouldn't be any gender bias in atomic-scale IT."

But girls don't have balls.

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Pirate

DRM'd?

Did IBM DRM protect @ molecular level too?!

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