When the Rolling Stones said to Paint It Black, they certainly didn’t think that one day science would counter that by saying, “Paint it blacker than black.”

But that’s exactly what just happened.

British company Surrey NanoSystems has managed to produce a material called Vantablack that absorbs all but 0.035 percent of visual light. (Its name comes from the term Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays.)

Vantablack is made of  carbon nanotubes and is so dark that the human eye cannot process contours and shapes making the color appear to be an endless abyss. When light strikes Vantablack, instead of bouncing off, it becomes trapped and is continually deflected between the tubes before eventually becoming heat

Surrey NanoSystems first demonstrated the substance by coating a sheet of wrinkled tinfoil with it. The uncoated part appeared three-dimensional, while the coated part appeared flat. (See photo above.)

The material is already being considered for telescopes and infrared systems.
And of course there’s already talk about the impact it could have on different military applications.

Read more about Vantablack here.

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Category: Spotlight