Technology

Scientists Develop A Material That’s So Dark You Can’t See It

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

If one was to make a little black dress out of the material, dubbed Vantablack, their arms and head would appear to float around incorporeally around a dress-shaped black hole.

"You would lose all features of the dress. It would just be something black passing through," chief technical officer Ben Jensen told The Independent.

The human eye can’t seem to get a grip on the material’s dimensions.

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Developed by Surrey NanoSystems, Vantablack or “super black” is made of carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 times thinner than human hair. The fibers are so small that light can’t pass through the gaps in between them.

The light is absorbed as it bouncing around the surface.

The practical uses for such a material include calibrating cameras which take photographs of some of the oldest objects in space – which are also the faintest objects.

Vantablack also conducts heat 7.5 times more effectively than copper and has 10 times the strength of steel.

Stephen Westland, professor of color science and technology at Leeds University, told The Independent that this “new black” might be the closest thing we’ll ever see to a black hole.

"Many people think black is the absence of light. I totally disagree with that. Unless you are looking at a black hole, nobody has actually seen something which has no light," Westland said. "These new materials, they are pretty much as black as we can get, almost as close to a black hole as we could imagine."

Sources: The Independent, Daily Mail

Image Credit: University of Exeter