Each frame of the stop-motion film measures 45 by 25 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A human hair is 3,000 times thicker than 25nm and there are 25 million nanometers in an inch.
The experiment was performed at low temperature, or about 1 degree Kelvin, which corresponds to about -272 *C (-458 *F). The byte starts switching randomly about once a minute due to thermal energy (heat) at about 5 degrees Kelvin.
"We use low temperatures because it enables us to start from one atom and assemble bigger and bigger structures while keeping an eye on their magnetic properties," an IBM spokesman said.
"The more atoms we use to make each bit, the more stable the bits become. We anticipate that in order to make bits of this type that are stable at room temperature would require about 150 atoms per bit (rather than 12 atoms at low temperatures)," he added.
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