Atom

World’s smallest stop-motion film made with individual atoms

Publication: NBC News   Date: May 1, 2013   View Article

Scientists at IBM have just unveiled the world’s smallest stop-motion film — certified by Guinness — one made by moving individual atoms. What you’re seeing is 100 million times bigger than the original elements.

For Star Trek fans, the team also unveiled several franchise-inspired images made with atoms, including the USS Enterprise, the famous logo and the “live long and prosper” sign.

Why? To prove that they can and in the process show off the fun side of science, according to Andreas Heinrich, a principal investigator at IBM Research in California who led the effort.

Tiny hard drive stores one bit of data with just 12 atoms

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 12, 2012   View Article

Twelve atoms are all that’s required to store a bit of computer code – a 1 or 0, according to a new discovery that probes the limit of classical data storage.

Computer hard drives on the market today use more than a million atoms to store a single bit and more than half a billion to store a byte, which is an eight-bit-long unit of code sufficient to write the letter A, for example.

The new technique uses just 96 atoms per byte, allowing for hard drives that store 100 times more information in the same amount of physical space, according the researchers behind the discovery.

Four-atom-wide wire may herald tiny computers

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 10, 2012   View Article

A wire that is just four atoms wide and one atom tall, yet works just as well as the ordinary copper wires running behind your wall, was recently created by an international team of scientists.

The breakthrough brings closer to reality a future where computers smaller than a pinhead are faster and more powerful than some of today’s supercomputers, according to the researchers.

Plasmas sterilize water cheaply

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 18, 2011   View Article

Ionized plasmas like those in neon signs and plasma TVs can sterilize water and make it antimicrobial as well, according to researchers studying the potential to use inexpensive plasma-generating devices to create sterile water in developing countries, disasters areas, and battlefields.

Plasmas are the fourth state of matter after solid, liquid, and gas. They are formed when gases are energized, stripping atoms of their electrons to create a collection of free moving electrons and ions.

Universe’s Existence May Be Explained by New Material

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 3, 2010   View Article

About 13.7 billion years ago, the big bang created a big mess of matter that eventually gave rise to life, the universe, and everything. Now a new material may help scientists understand why.

The material was designed to detect a theorized but unproven property of electrons, subatomic particles with a negative charge that orbit the centers of atoms.

If this “new” property of electrons exists, scientists say, it would help explain the current imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach