Vantablack: A Material So Dark Your Eyes Can't Tell It's There

Sorry, Orange. Black is the new black. A new material created by British researchers absorbs all but 0.035% of visible light.

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Sorry, Orange. Black is the new black.

Vantablack, a new material created by British researchers at Surrey NanoSystems, absorbs all but 0.035% of visible light. This makes it the darkest man-made material in existence. According to The Independent, Vantablack is made out of tightly packed nanotubes:

These are so tiny that light particles cannot get into them, although they can pass into the gaps between. Once there, however, all but a tiny remnant of the light bounces around until it is absorbed.

What's the Big Idea?

As you can tell from the above image, the material appears completely shapeless despite sitting on crinkled aluminum foil. Vantablack is so black that it tricks your eyes into seeing nothing of its contours. Its details and shape are effectively invisible. Practical uses for the material include calibrating the focus on deep space telescopes and cameras. There's also interest from military entities that The Independent notes Surrey NanoSystems isn't allowed to talk about. I guess the only thing scarier than a drone raining hellfire from above is an effectively invisible drone raining hellfire from above.

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Photo credit: Surrey NanoSystems via The Independent

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