A Boy and His Atom

A Guinness World Record holder for smallest stop motion film, this IBM piece was animated entirely with carbon monoxide particles.

A Boy and His Atom is a 2013 stop-motion animated short film directed by Nico Casavecchia and released on YouTube by IBM Research. The movie tells the story of a boy and a wayward atom who meet and become friends.

It depicts a boy playing with an atom that takes various forms. One minute in length, it was made by moving carbon monoxide molecules with a scanning tunneling microscope, a device that magnifies them 100 million times. These two-atom molecules were moved to create images, which were then saved as individual frames to make the film.

The movie has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Smallest Stop-Motion Film.