Black is an awesome color. It is the standard visual of most of the world’s typography. It is the skin adorning all presidential vehicles. Black rises above its stealthy humble existence to add value and individuality to some of nature’s most precious creations such as pearls and diamonds. Black defines formal attire and it the color of the nighttime. Just when we thought black was black and could not get any darker, scientists from a company in the UK have announced the creation of a super black material.
The British company Surrey Nanosystems has produced a material so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, setting a new world record. It is so dark the human eye cannot articulate just what it is seeing when fixated on this new shade of black. . It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss.
Two years in the making, Vantablack works by packing together a field of nanotubes, like incredibly thin drinking straws. 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.
Vantablack also has “virtually undetectable levels of outgassing and particle fallout”, which can contaminate the most sensitive imaging systems. The material conducts heat seven and a half times more effectively than copper and has 10 times the tensile strength of steel. Development and testing in applying the material onto aluminum structures and pyroelectric sensors was successful, readying it for use in actual imaging systems. It can be used to coat components like optical sensors, baffles, and apertures.
Stephen Westland, professor of color science and technology at Leeds University, said traditional black was actually a color of light and scientists were now pushing it to something out of this world.
So, you see the title of this post was not click bait after all. Black is the new black.