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Ask an IBM researcher a Question about the Making of World's Smallest Movie

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The IBM atomic memory research team created what’s now known as the world’s smallest movie, A Boy and His Atom, which was made by magnifying atoms 100 million times through a scanning tunneling microscope. (To give perspective on the smallness of the scale, if atoms were the size of an orange, magnifying them by 100 million times would make them as large as the Earth).

Watch the behind the scenes video above then submit your question by Thursday, May 16 for Principal Investigator, Andreas Heinrich. Post your question in the comments below and we’ll ask it during a special interview with Heinrich. Then make sure to check back at the end of May when we share his answers.

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  • mujeebmbr

    How long does it take to complete this movie?

  • Patricia Mallory

    Is everyday this exciting for you as a scientist?

  • neeks

    This is awesome! What is your biggest dream of this for the future?

  • niyas

    what was the purpose of this movie?

  • Abhisajitha

    What made you interested in Science?

  • John Anbu

    Awesome idea and What is inspiration of the project?

  • simpy

    I am just totally wowed! by this, what was the biggest obstacle you faced during the making of this movie, and how did you came over it?

  • Suman Patra

    what is a scanning tunneling microscope?

  • Shaneeka Anderson

    What prompted this video, and what was the purpose?

  • Kevin John

    How did you select the other members to this project and how did you convince IBM to take up the project

  • vipsaryan

    It was an awesome movie and an good example of thinking out of the box.
    I want to ask that How much money is incurred in making the film?
    This is because I think expensive microscopes have been used for focussing

  • deepmix

    A really original and creative idea! How did you come up with it?

  • hellovj90

    What made you think about this ?

  • Prabu Dbz

    Who help you the most and contributed most of their time to help you in this movie?

  • Sujith Kumar


  • raso

    What was the production cost of this movie?

  • suba

    How was the support from your family member while you were doing this movie?

  • mathi

    what was your inspiration to do this type of movie?

  • kokilaganesan

    How was the idea started? somewhat good

  • Vishwak Balaji

    Great thing, Who acted behind you in supporting this creation?

  • kannan

    this research is very helpful for short film maker

  • hameetha

    Good One..i know u r a good hard worker

  • vaidhya

    Is there any benefits that the general public get from this research work?

  • mansoor

    i thing u spend more time for this movies...Congrtz

  • leningmoses

    May I know what is the purpose of your research? How this study can benefit the society in general?

  • sankar

    Excellent, Whether this movie will have a sequel one?

  • Jithin Raphy Pallippattu

    How lang have you been working for IBM and how do you describe your experience during this period?

  • wino

    What made you think of such an amazing creation? I there any real life incident as a reason behind this?

  • Bmoneystab

    What do you feel is the most technologically advanced piece of equipment IBM has produced ?

  • Bmoneystab

    What do you feel is the most technologically advanced piece of equipment IBM has produced ?

  • gansh2012

    Why did you do this, for fun or challenge?

  • amtvmani

    How did thought makes very little video in the world?

  • rajphp

    Not the easiest production. You say it as the smallest movie by making atoms as a boy. but the production time would be much longer than making a normal movie. is'nt it?

  • bassiva

    I know Its far difficult to make a movie using atom. I want to know how much sequence moves to be happened for one particular action or situation?Financially how much costs it will take into proceed?

  • mansoor

    what is the main function of this jobs?

  • sssb21

    Is it really possible to make smallest movies?

  • greenplastic

    What, do you think, will come from making this movie? What effect does this have on future experiments?

  • GuadalupeD

    Thats a brilliant project.
    Were there any problems you or your team faced while working on this movie?

  • Lincy Reka

    Why does the movie start with 12 atoms?

  • Kyle Kazukynas

    Do you believe this will enhance the learning experience for kids? Will it serve as a better learning tool?

  • Alisheik Manzoor

    What made you to think to make a movie like this?

  • kevthecoolkid

    What exactly inspired you to want to create a movie involving atoms?

  • David O'Neil

    Do you think your movie is a solid educational tool that may improve the way physics is taught in schools?

  • Sinzad

    Amazing..what are the other projects you are working on..?

  • bbb64

    What do you think needs to be done to get more children involved in technology? Specifically, for the younger girls generation?

  • ambers

    How long does it take to complete a single frame in this movie?

  • Brian Oxenreider

    Is there anything that making a movie like this accomplishes besides the satisfaction of doing it? I mean will this advance other areas of science in anyway?

  • Sebastian Gurshman

    Do you think IBM still holds is position as the leading innovator in the field of computer technology?

  • denisedacr

    Other than getting kids interested in science, what to you expect to gain from making this movie?

  • jrb0408

    What is the real purpose of this movie?

  • Lordson JJ

    What is the source of this movie?

  • LLSamSAm

    What do you think this interesting way of looking at atoms can do to bridge the gap between STEM and Entertainment? Incredible work

  • Asha Murali

    Video is amazing. When we can able to see this type of technology in big screen...

  • goughghan

    How long does it take to make 1 full frame with moving single atoms at once?

  • GHunmer

    What type of funding did you need to do this type of movie?

  • Rachelhh

    Is this the first movie you have created?

  • gading

    Who is the inspiration and what made you to do this?

  • Allen Kim

    Hi, for a high school student currently interested in physics and technology, what is the best way to get into this industry and work at a company like IBM doing cutting edge research?

  • jessmo19

    Your work is incredible. What other projects and research are you currently working on? Any other videos that you'll be releasing?

  • finmingin

    What inspired you to make this movie?

  • screamingbark

    What technology in the future are you most excited about?

  • jack27

    Will you make more similar movies? This movie is interesting.

  • shanna8181

    What do you plan on doing next?

  • Dharani

    Do you think it would increase the childrens interest in science?Because the movie looks like a video game , It is really entertaining.If the childrens got interest in it and started trying of , is there any health hazards for them?

  • Rupa Chheda-Gosar

    What inspired to do this video. Its really amazing.

  • Poojas

    where is the location of this movie shooting ?

  • bluefinch

    How is this different from making an animated movie?

  • bisleshan

    I was fascinated by the video. When would your movie be released? Also I would love to see this technology incorporated in my hard drive so that I would never run out of space. Can I ask you to take up that project in the future?

  • Wilhelm Vain

    How much progress has been made since this video was posted? I'd love to see another website that has the research information. Do you think that there will be a break-through with atom computing in our generation?

  • Lezah

    What is the next storage type for information?

  • Bindhya

    what is the motivation to do this project?

  • Simru

    What are your other projects?

  • nasha2012

    Do you think about who give this power to you ?

  • Kiran Verma

    What is a scanning tunneling microscope. Was it ever used to make any other movie. How much time and resource was used to complete the movie.

  • guritza

    What was the buget of project and haw you get this interesting idea?

  • srimano

    what is the mission of this movie?


    How did corporate others to produce this movie?

  • Hari prabhu

    How did you get this idea? Which one is inspired to create this?

  • usharavindran

    Who inspired you to make this worlds smallest movie based on atom?

  • jincep1986

    How much is the cost for produce this movie?

  • jincep1986

    How much is the cost for produce this movie?

  • Ram Sab

    Which software is used to produce this movie? And the OS?

  • ManoRajan

    what idea inspired you to start this work?

  • Karthik Vk


  • Prakash Ravan

    what the way this atom movie research will helps engineering students in their field.

  • Manoj Kumar

    whats the duration of the movie & the actors involved ?

  • boxcollector

    Is it easy to pick up where you left off,the last time you were working on it? Another words when you stop tonight,then tomm sart working on it again,is is it easy? Some things I have worked on,when I stop,the next day,it takes me 2 hours to get back where I was the previous day.

  • Manoj Kumar

    what's the deal of IBM in movies ?

  • rejilrajep

    How you got the idea for this movie?

  • sugan

    what is the applications to the public through this project in our daily life.

  • jalal

    What is the basic Need for this Movie

  • gundudgl

    Who is the supportive person behind your scientific project ? if anyone financially helped your project ?.

  • mturk1987

    how can i become like you?

  • Tejaswin Jain

    Being IBM What made you do this movie?, What struck your mind to do this?

  • Sandhiya Raj

    What was the budget of your project?

  • Sandhiya Raj

    what was the budget of you project?

  • zlain

    Did you actually need to choose an "animator"? I think that, despite from the technical constraints, the animation is pretty good.

    • zlain


  • thankappan

    What is your advice to young scientists?

  • vishwaaditya10

    How is your experiment beneficial to the human kind and is there any way that we can take this any further?

  • Soma Chatterjee

    Out of everything, why this particular idea came to your mind?

  • Sourav Chatterjee

    Are you sure that this will be a success in the long run?

  • Boobooflu

    What is your inspiration for doing this video?

  • corollahoist

    This is an amazing feat. What's your best estimate of converting the data storage properties of so few atoms to useful application? Are we looking at something that could happen in our lifetimes? Decades? Years?

  • Vishesh Vyas

    what is your main objective behind this research .

  • muraliju


  • Angel Jessy Jessy

    who is your inspiration to make this kind of project?

  • Ravi Prasad

    Apart from data storage, what are the other areas your research will affect?

  • Lynn

    What do you hope to accomplish long-term with your research?

  • Aruna Devi

    what kind of effort do you need in this project?

  • jmaes192

    What are your future projects?

  • Stephen Edwards

    Can we make videos with more clarity and using less storage in future with this technology and can this technology revolutionize data storage to much more minute scale with this atom scale modeling

  • krrakesh16

    What were the main challenges ahead of you when you started doing this movie?

  • Sushma Kaur

    How long will be the research?

  • Nanda Kumar V

    How far have you reached on 'unlimited data storage' using this technology?

  • suriya333

    how much period of time is innovled for you to complete this project??

  • Vishwa

    How did you get the idea to take a movie on the behavior of the atom and what is that you are trying to prove here?

  • suriya333

    what was the budget of you project?

  • esakkiappan05

    what is your first taught while thinking about the poject?which one influence the best to involve you in this work?

  • Abhilash Ananthapally

    what do you want to show in your movie, do you want to show the behavior and structure of an atom?

  • Mark Guess

    What was the reason for using carbon monoxide molecules? Was it a stability issue or complexity?

  • baba123

    was you are family supportive for your project

  • Ebin Raj

    how many scientists do the project

  • Ebin Raj

    how many scientists do the project

  • Kumar Guruswamy

    Where did you get this idea to start this project?

  • therealchandu

    How much does this whole project cost? Who all are the people behind this project?

  • cpdmom

    Who are your role models in the scientific community?

  • Soban Babu

    What motivated you to try for this project?

  • sathvi

    What motivation to make this type of movie?

  • Saneesh Krishnan

    Where did you get this idea to start this project?

  • shanthu

    What makes you to put title"A Boy and His Atom" and why? What's the new thing you are going to give from this project?

  • Usha Kumar

    how much did you send for this project

  • murugan

    what is the major part of the experiment?how many researchers work in this project?

  • deepsi

    Who supported and why do you wanted to choose this subject.
    What are the obstacles you overcame during this project?

  • Kumudha Babu

    I wish to know about your own contribution to this industry?

  • manjusv

    How long is the movie going to be?

  • Sam303

    Very interesting, I would like to know how long you worked on this project and how many persons shared in it? thanks

  • sai93

    How many years you took to create this project about moving atoms?

  • dleed

    What aspect of science fascinated you most when you were younger, and what aspect of science fascinates you most now?

  • visu1221

    What is your main in tension toward doing like this project..?

  • Hari Potter

    What was IBM's first reaction when they knew about your plan to make the world's smallest movie?

  • moshmoshmosh

    What do you think the direction of control over printable gun parts will head in?

  • earthy

    I love the enthusiasm of the participants! Have you thought of using a 3D printer for making a model?

  • Akshitha Sree

    How is special interview with Heinrich?

  • aw2250

    What got you interested in atoms in particular as opposed to other things you could have studied?

  • Karthik Keyan

    How you got the idea to start this project?