Here’s a fun fact about IBM’s research on storing data atom by atom — sometimes, it gets really boring. Our latest evidence for this phenomenon is that the folks working on the project feel like making the world’s tiniest stop-motion film is a better use of their time, and I’m not going to say that they’re wrong. The result of their efforts at atomic animation is this short, A Boy and His Atom.
I suppose the rules of boredom state that if your job is to move individual atoms from one place to the next all day, eventually, you’re going to start doodling with them. And once you start doodling with them, it’s just a matter of time until you turn those drawing into cartoons. While this one is not exactly Pixar quality yet, making moving pictures out of the most basic building blocks of matter is a pretty neat idea, ao we’re willing to overlook some plot holes — how does an atom turn into a trampoline, exactly? — in favor of concentrating on the inspired proof of principle on display here.
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