JUN 29, 2016 11:30 AM PDT

Vantablack: The Darkest Material Ever Made By Man

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Think you know black? Think again. Vantablack is a material that absorb nearly all light in the visual spectrum (99.965% to be exact). So black is this composition that Vantablack has earned the rights of being the blackest black in the world, capable of turning anything into a dark abyss.

To be sure, Vantablack is not a paint color. It's a material that's grown from from carbon nanotubes. Indeed, the name Vantablack derives from the acronym: Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays. Each nanotube array traps any light that hits it, turning it into heat that eventually dissipates.

To make Vantablack is not a trivial process, at least for now. That means the material is only reserved for highly technical applications, like coating the inside of telescopes or other space equipment. But interestingly, one lucky artist, Anish Kapoor (designer of Chicago's The Bean), did get exclusive rights to work with the material. So, keep your eyes peeled for the first Vantablack art piece soon!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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