Thursday, December 4, 2014

The blackest black of all blacks

Not that long ago I discovered browsing through the internet this material that I want to introduce to you. It's Vantablack, the blackest substance of all known to man today.

Vantablack, the closest thing to having outer space in your desk.

Those of you who are familiar with light and colour theory already know that black is the colour we see in absence of light. The colour of an object is the sensation that is produced by our brain when it interprets the wavelength of light rays reflected by that object and perceived by our eyes. As you know, objects absorb and reflect the light they receive, and depending on which part they reflect and which part they absorb, the colour we perceive of this object will be different. For an object to be black it has to absorb all light (or nearly all) so that no light reflected from that object gets to our eyes.

It's so black it's scary. It's as if they erase reality in that small area.

What makes Vantablack so special is that (according to Wikipedia, here) it absorbs 99.965% of the visible light spectrum. There's no other substance known to man that absorbs more than Vantablack, so we can say that Vantablack is nowadays the blackest black of all known blacks.

Pretty close to Vantablack XD

Currently, production of this material is being developed for use in aerospace and military industries (the most advanced of them all, of course). The question is if this material will get to be cheap enough so that we can make paints with it. I certainly would love to have some Vantablack in my desk...

Will we see it?

5 comments:

Narric Techna said...

Would certainly make for some stark shadow effects on display models, and be interesting to see on Stealth units like Tau XV25s.

I think maybe we'll have to wait a couple years before commerical viability though. The Military has to run it into the ground first :P

Zaphod Beeblebrox said...

I want VANTABLACK as a background for taking pictures! No more residual light!

Terry Cardiff said...

It's interesting that it's so black that a dress made of this would be so black you wouldn't be able to discern curves or contours. This would limit the type of application if it was in paint form. That said, my chaos black supply is nearly done so I would be in the market for a small pot of vantablack ��

atacam said...

First thing I thought too Zaphod. I thought that this is what it was going to be about. but oh Very black paint, count me in.

Greg Hess said...

Wow! This is really cool. Thanks for the photos and sharing it! I imagine it's hard to capture it's true effect in photographs.