IBM Atomic Shorts: Ripples on the surface

See the world’s smallest movie at Want to know more about the atoms in the movie? In this Atomic Short, an IBM scientist describes what those ripples around the atoms are, and why they exist. Learn more about atomic memory, data storage and big data at

42 thoughts on “IBM Atomic Shorts: Ripples on the surface

  1. Ricardo Luperon

    cool…we R not actually seeing the actuall atom…we R seeing indentations on the surface 

  2. Hippoman

    Excuse me sir, but are there not other nationalities in sports teams just how there can be in scientific research? Just because the company is american doesn't mean it has an all american team and especially doesn't mean that any other nationality can't preform better than others. Please read your comment a second time and reconsider what was the stupidest thing you've heard all day. Thank you.

  3. Hippoman

    If a majority of Americans were morons we wouldn't have prospered so successfully. America has the 2nd largest army and is number one in industry innovation. You did infer that it was America and you shouldn't judge the intelligence of a country because of stereotypes.

  4. Christopher Miller

    Ohhh, military might, you must be intelligent… Please inform me how being proficient in a firearm allows one to probe the atomic structure, put humans on mars or cure cancer?

  5. Christopher Miller

    Is tHat so? Well How about tHat. WHile you're at it, cam you please explain to me How one uses the englisH language. 

  6. bakuninti

    Nope, we've pegged you as an ignorant American who has bought into a lot of shit he sees on the internet and television, or hears from other ignorant Americans.

    The reason you probably don't know too many intelligent Americans is because you spout stupid blanket statements as fact. Just because you might live in a stupid city does not mean you can speak for the entirety of the country. Have you even left America before?

    Sorry for being such a dick, but come on dude…


  7. Hippoman

    If I'm not mistaken we were the first to put man on the moon… Im not saying that all Americans are scientifically smart, but basing a nation on a few dumb people isn't right.

  8. PimpPancreas

    Michio Kaku is American. Just because his parents are Japanese doesn't make him non-American. He was born and raised.

  9. Selwin

    Actually molecules are readily imageable by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. Especially those with electron-rich sidegroups, like benzene rings, or hydroxide groups. They normally don't conduct as well as the surface, so they appear as they are lower than they actually are, sometimes even lower than the surface. 

  10. Miguel Batista

    Right, so the electrons are the ripples. Cool. Now what is the space in which those electrons are moving? Is there anything possibly smaller than this? Could it be possible to eventually make this "movie" even smaller? Just a few thoughts..

  11. George (Aeonex)

    Electrons move so fast and are so tiny, we haven't even seen one. We know they exist based on their interactions with everything else around it. Like, if you try to stop a bullet to see it. You might be able to see a bullet, and you know it exists because of its' power. But Electrons move thousands of times faster and are way smaller. Until we could master the ability to see Electrons, I doubt any moving of them will be done anytime soon.

  12. Jamie lee

    it makes me sad that this has low views. if more people were interested in this the human race would acheive so much more.. shame the media are more interested in teaching a new generation rap music and celebritys…

  13. FoleePrime

    suchandsuch, that has to do with the fact that the electrons in a metal are not so confined around the nuclei. In a metal like copper, the electrons form a "sea" that can flow, and so it produces a rather smooth-looking electron surface

  14. Ryan Gatts

    +suchandsuch I would imagine it has to do with this movies very tight focal plane. We also aren't seeing any of the air in between the receptor and the subject. If someone else knows better, feel free to correct me.

  15. hweenmask

    what i dont get is how is that surface so smooth ? they are filming everything in the atomic level so we should see the atoms of that surface as well. and not a smooth surface…. very suspicious.

  16. WTFhappenedWITHyou

    Ok so the negative electrons in the copper layer are attracted to the positive nuclei in the atoms they're using, but what I don't get is why they form a series of evenly distributed bumps or ripples and not a linear slope that increases in height closer to the nucleus? It's also awesome that you can even see constructive and destructive interference, this video blew my mind.


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