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.
You May Also Like
SEP 11, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 11, 2018
Chemistry in Your Cookies: Double Acting Baking Powders
If you are not an avid baker, you can easily mistake baking soda for baking powder.  Although both look white and powder-like, capable of releasing ca...
SEP 22, 2018
Videos
SEP 22, 2018
Did a Vampire Facial Expose Patients to Bloodborne Disease?
It seems there is no shortage of unusual beauty rituals; vampire facials may fall into that category....
SEP 25, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 25, 2018
Japan Put Two Landers On An Asteroid for Science
Japanese space agency JAXA recently made history after its Hayabusa 2 mission approached the asteroid 162173 Ryugu and dumped off two landers to study the ...
OCT 01, 2018
Videos
OCT 01, 2018
Is Bigger Better?
Bigger is better, right? If you’re trying to insult someone you might call them a “pea brain” or tell them they have a “bird brain,...
OCT 03, 2018
Videos
OCT 03, 2018
The Use of Cannabis to Treat Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can lead to depression, addiction to opioids, anxiety, other side effects, and more. The first video from Howcast talks about clinical tr...
OCT 18, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 18, 2018
Lake Karachay The Most Radioactively Polluted Place on Earth
Located next to a Soviet's plutonium fuel processing center, Lake Karachay a small lake in Central Russia was considered the world' most conta...
Loading Comments...