A Boy and His Atom is a 2013 stop-motion animated short film released on YouTube by IBM Research. It depicts a boy playing with an atom that takes various forms. One minute in length, it was made by moving carbon monoxide molecules viewed through a scanning tunneling microscope, magnifying them 100 million times. The molecules were manipulated to create images, which were then saved as individual frames to animate them.
It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest movie ever created. The scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center who created the film had been developing ways to improve data storage efficiency by magnetizing smaller groups of molecules than has previously been accomplished. They made the film in the hope that schoolchildren who see it will become aware of the possibilities of careers in science.