If you ever went through a goth phase where you vowed to wear only black until you found something darker, that time has finally come.
British company Surrey Nanosystems has developed a new “superblack” material that is so black it actually confuses your eyes. When you see it, you’re like:
The material, released this week, is called Vantablack. It absorbs 99.96% of all visible light, which it says is the darkest material ever created.
And what does it look like? Imagine gazing into the abyss of a black so deep that listening to the Cure while smoking cloves pales in comparison. It’s so black your eyes can’t process the shapes and contours of the material. As the Independent described it, if you were to fashion the material into a dress, “the wearer's head and limbs might appear to float incorporeally around a dress-shaped hole.”
Other than potentially allowing for the ultra-rich to dazzle (or baffle) crowds on the red carpet (the material, we have learned, is very, very expensive, though they won’t say how expensive), the material could be used calibrate cameras that shoot deep space photographs.
There reportedly are military applications for the material, too, but the company says it is not allowed to talk about that.
The material is made of carbon nanotubes (whatever that means) that are “grown” in a laboratory and are 10,000 times narrower than piece of hair.
"We grow the tubes like a field of carbon grass. The tubes are spaced apart,” Ben Jensen, chief technical officer of Surrey Nanosystems told the Guardian. “When a light particle hits the material, it gets between the tubes and bounces around, is absorbed and converted to heat. Light goes in, but it can't get back out."
Sounds awesome. Reminds me of this:
Hooray for science.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.