What's blacker than "black?" Vantablack!

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posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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The headline of the source article at The Independent reads:


Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...


They're not exaggerating. Also from The Independent article (three excerpts, my bold):


A British company has produced a "strange, alien" material so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, setting a new world record. To stare at the "super black" coating made of carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair – is an odd experience. 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.


Let that register for a moment. Staring at an object coated with this material would be akin to looking into the perfect optical nothingness of a black hole (that's not busily eating). Because almost no light is reflected, I'd expect that it would appear like a perfectly black cut-out — no contours, no depth, no texture — nothing.


Actual applications are more serious, enabling astronomical cameras, telescopes and infrared scanning systems to function more effectively. Then there are the military uses that the material's maker, Surrey NanoSystems, is not allowed to discuss.

The nanotube material, named Vantablack, has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil by the Newhaven-based company. While the sheets may be crumpled into miniature hills and valleys, this landscape disappears on areas covered by it.

"You expect to see the hills and all you can see … it's like black, like a hole, like there's nothing there. It just looks so strange," said Ben Jensen, the firm's chief technical officer.


Still not convinced this is just about as black as black gets? Here's what Stephen Westland, professor of colour science and technology at Leeds University had to say about it at the end of the source article:


"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," he 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."


Here's a picture of a chunk of Vantablack. Unfortunately, there's obviously no way of demonstrating on your monitor how black this is, but the complete lack of reflection, shadow or surface detail should give you a fair approximation.



Image from Daily Mail

Well I guess I know what material I'd choose to make my shinobi shōzoku (ninja suit)!
edit on 2014-7-13 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)
edit on 2014-7-13 by theantediluvian because: added to title



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posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:22 PM
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I seriously wonder what the military applications they aren't allowed to discuss are.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:24 PM
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Brilliant! Lets coat all politicians with it so we don't have to look at them anymore...


Incredible advancement, and I'm loving all the uses that carbon nano-tubes are bringing to the table. Now if they can only work out how to mass manufacture it then it will be a game changer. Kind of like when plastics were introduced. I'm imagining an entire planetarium coated in this stuff, or a home theater room! Would also make a great coating for the top of a car dashboard to reduce the reflection on the windscreen. Thousands of uses I cant even think of yet!



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: abe froman

Yeah, of the top of my head.. Stealth bomber coating? Maybe when it is applied to uniforms it not only stops light, but the infrared wavelengths from the wearer? Therefore stopping things like night-vision goggles from working? Or something along those lines?

Or perhaps the guys will just use it to paint there bed blankets before inspection?



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian


Pshh nothing a little a little white paint can't fix





That is very cool though , I wouldn't mind having my car that black



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:34 PM
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I'm not getting the logic behind this.
Why would someone want to make the material that reflects almost zero light in the world of light???
I mean in order for us to see it we need not to have light itself.
Ok, my brain just fell apart...



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:36 PM
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originally posted by: abe froman
I seriously wonder what the military applications they aren't allowed to discuss are.


I can think of a few off the top of my head but they all have to do with the same thing — stealth coating.

Imagine that somebody is wearing a uniform covered in Vantablack at night. Shining a light on this person would reveal no detail at all and in fact, you could only perceive them as an outline against a background or by their shadow on the ground.

EDIT:

I'm not saying I believe in the existence of shadow people, but that would pretty much be the description.
edit on 2014-7-13 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:42 PM
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Drop a bit of love in it and bump you have a dot.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:47 PM
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May be a clue to the Shadow People mystery. I imagine a vehicle painted with this material with shiny chrome accents would look pretty sharp.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:53 PM
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Wow... it reminds me of the Void of voids...



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:55 PM
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I want a shirt and hat made of this stuff. Maybe gloves too. Yeah, gloves. And a pony.


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posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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I want to build a spaceship out of it and park it at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe...



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:05 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I can imagine a military application. You coat a weapon and your shirt, and your gloves, with this stuff. Others would then have no idea when the weapon is pointed right at them!. I can see someone doing this in an assassination where eye witnesses would have no clue what the assassin was doing. This could happen with a knife, a gun, maybe even a bow & arrow? No doubt this will be in an upcoming Mission Impossible movie!



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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hahahahahaha

Unleash the kraken!




posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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originally posted by: zilebeliveunknown
I'm not getting the logic behind this.
Why would someone want to make the material that reflects almost zero light in the world of light???
I mean in order for us to see it we need not to have light itself.
Ok, my brain just fell apart...


With optical equipment like cameras, binoculars and space telescopes, you have large tubes containing and protecting expensive lenses and mirrors. You want the light to go through those lenses, reflected by mirrors and focused onto the CCD sensor. But some light gets reflected and scattered off each lens and mirror. Then you get all sorts of streaks, line and blobs caused by the light being reflected off the casing and back into the CCD sensor.

If you can coat the interior walls of the equipment with this paint, that would go a long to preventing this from happening.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: Qumulys

If it absorbs almost all light, how would a wall of a home theater made out of this stuff serve as a viewing screen? There would be nothing there to watch.


(EDIT: word 'reflects' changed to 'absorbs' per comment on the next page)
edit on 13-7-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)
edit on 13-7-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:13 PM
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Yep. It has some additional properties (from The Independent source in OP) well-suited for use in imaging devices too:


It 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.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:19 PM
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Even gives the 4.5 nano meter niobiumnitride a lesson in light absorption.

Very, very impressive.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:34 PM
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technology never ceases to amaze. s&f



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 07:49 PM
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originally posted by: Astr0
Even gives the 4.5 nano meter niobiumnitride a lesson in light absorption.

Very, very impressive.



Well played sir! I had to look that one up and it looks like that material was the previous blackest of blacks.
edit on 2014-7-13 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)





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