Forget Spielberg and intriguing plots. Forget Janusz Kaminski and state-of-the-art cinematography tools. No Dreamworks and sophisticated animation, or Walt Disney and charming characters either. All you got is a scanning tunnel microscope (STM) and a bunch of atoms. But what else would you need anyway to make a cartoon?
To explore the limits of data storage and film-making, a small group of IBM researchers made a short stop-motion “atom movie”, using an STM as their animation tool, and a handful of atoms as “actors”. Entitled A Boy And His Atom, the cartoon stars a boy (made out of actual atoms) who befriends an atom.