IBM Atomic Shorts: How to move an atom



See the world’s smallest movie at Want to know more about moving atoms? In this Atomic Short, an IBM scientist talks about the actual physics behind moving atoms. Learn more about atomic memory, data storage and big data at

48 Replies to “IBM Atomic Shorts: How to move an atom”

  1. Well in a different video it shows that they used a tiny golden-colored surface that is around 1cm square. I do not know the material.

  2. Well, thing 2 steps bigger, as big as cells, that is what it could do to the world of medicine, I think a cell has 1 million atoms, so it wouldn't be really useful to move 1 million atoms. 😉 Because they used a needle tiny enough to pick up atoms, I think we can cure cancer! :D

  3. I'm a programmer, and with a supercomputer good enough to process and move the needle so fast, it might be able to do it in any time the seller wants.

  4. I'm a programmer and it wouldn't take millions of years to configure. xD But in programming, you can just set a variable to that number of atoms. But that number would be too big, so we'd need maybe terabytes of RAM to store that value. Because there's a limit, if you go higher, the program malfunctions. We might be able to do it in the future because in the future we will have better computers, good enough to process that.

  5. So if you were a kid(if you arent now) and your parents locked you in your room with your pet, and took your phone and laptop(your only electronics) with them, and told you to do your homework, would you ask the pet to do it for you? We are the smartest known species on earth, but if we find aliens, they might be smarter, and we are not the stupidest, it's the opposite, compared to other species we are the smartest.

  6. and the prey is another troll, having a teleporter and the first troll is stuck in the prey's troll trap.

  7. We are the smartest species on Earth, and that means we are definitely not the stupidest in the universe, if there are Aliens, we might be the second smartest, but we are not the stupidest.

  8. k then, speak Persian for me, if you can't, you are " he ignorant uneducated guy who can't spell ", and no, you can't use Google translate.

  9. what are you talking about? How are atoms not in outer space? Ever planet is made of atoms and every planet is in outer space. Asteroids and what not are in outer space, Every star and every galaxy is in outer space, and they are all made of atoms. Please think before you decide to say something. Because you are completely false. But you are correct about the photons, there are photons in outer space.

  10. Persian? Are we on a Persian site or what?

    Look closer at the writing of the guy I was talking to, you'll find it's lazy, unpunctuated etc. I wonder why you're take the side of a rude superficial person like that.

  11. But it will never happen. Since the government is visibly suffocating anyone who tries to do something amazing that would better the world, there are multiple examples of such people and their inventions/ideas.

  12. Atoms tend to migrate ( diffusion). My question is; How stable are the shapes, i.e once you make a pattern of atoms how how long does it take to disappear. Minutes, hours, days weeks? 

  13. Ringleader17…The smallest particle you can break Mayonaise down to is a molecule of Mayonaise, if you break it down any further it is no longer Mayonaise, but seperat atoms that made up the molecule of Mayonaise.

  14. Well this is bizarre. I never thought it was possible to do this. It sounds pain staking. Is it really practical to build robots this way?

  15. Couldnt agree with you +RIC0H  ! I grabbed
    the program and I did what it say and was
    able to open the door ti his heart in a way
    I was never able to do before. 🙂 It was
    _really a big help..:) _

  16. In the video, why can't they also see the atoms that make up the surface that the other atoms are being moved around on?

  17. well if put an atom somewhere doesn't that mean that you've moved it?
    Also why isn't that singe atom making a bond with the atoms of the surface and instead its making it with the needle?
    Also how can you take out a single atom of the structure of an element and just put it on another element in the first place?

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