Paramount Grudgingly Lets Nerds Get Involved In STAR TREK Promotion

IBM does atomic-level TREK art, Chris Pine gives them atomic-level wedgies.

The early word from London screenings of Star Trek Into Darkness confirm that JJ Abrams has once again given us 'A Romp!' and 'A Ride!' that's 'Fun!' and 'Action Packed!'. Set phasers to dumb!

Paramount has been really trying to de-nerd Star Trek, and if they could make it non-scifi I bet they would. But someone in marketing is holding on to geek dreams, I guess, since they reached out to IBM to create some very cool Star Trek fan art... on an atomic level.

Those wonderful geeks at IBM were working on the world's smallest movie, called A Boy and His Atom, when they also decided to make some Trek-inspired art. The movie they made is a real achievement, and is listed by Guinness as the most wee movie ever made. From the press release:

In a breakthrough requiring thousands of precisely placed atoms to act as actors, props, and scenes, the tiny Guinness World Record certified movie is comprised of almost 250 stop-motion frames that were combined into an animated film.

To help bring this world of atoms to life, the scientists used a unique two-ton microscope that operates at -268 degrees Celsius to tell a short story of a boy (who’s made of atoms) playing with an individual atom.
This team of scientists also used these same tools and techniques to beam Star Trek fans to another dimension to see franchise-inspired images they made out of atoms. These images will launch exclusively on the Star Trek Into Darkness mobile app.

Developing the first atom-sized stop motion film and Star Trek images isn’t entirely new ground for IBM. In the age of Big Data, as storage needs get bigger, the technology to store it has to get smaller — down to the atomic level. In commercial applications today, it takes 1 million atoms to store a single bit of data, but IBM recently announced atomic-scale memory technology that can store a bit of data with only 12 atoms and could one day store every movie ever made in a device the size of a fingernail.

That's pretty cool. The original Star Trek really inspired a generation of scientists. It gave them a sense of the joy of discovery, the rush of exploration and the deep, meaningful happiness that comes from understanding the world around you. Somehow I doubt that Star Trek Into Darkness will inspire many people to get into the sciences. Oh well, Star Trek was cool while it lasted.

Want to know more about how they did it? Here's a five minute video. 

That's one nanometer!