The next time you put on a piece of pitch-black clothing, or you wind up stranded in the dead of night, you should realize one thing: What you’re looking at isn’t that black. To some, orange might be the new black, but for the scientists at UK’s Surrey Nanosystems, the rights have been earned to call their creation the blackest of the black.
A black hole might be blacker, but Vantablack is non-reflective enough to make it the darkest material on earth. According to Guinness World Records, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rice University created a material that reflected a mere 0.045% of light back in 2007. Vantablack, according to its researchers, whittles that down to 0.04%.
Both Vantablack and the previous material are created with low-density carbon nanotubes, although it’s not clear what Vantablack’s researchers did differently to eke that extra blackness out of their creation – though I’m not sure I’d understand it anyway.
Vantablack’s creators hope to see this material used in electro-optical imaging and target-acquisition systems, with one example being telescopes. If I had access to the material, I’d infiltrate a friend’s house and hang Vantablack mats over each and every one of their doorways. Oh, the fun that would be had!