Really Black Is the New Black

Scientists create darkest black ever, and it may have practical uses
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2008 9:29 AM CST
Pulickel Ajayan, one of the scientists who developed the new black, also holds the record for creating the smallest brush. This is not it; and this black background is hardly black at all, by comparison.   (IndexStock)
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(Newser) – What's the blackest thing you can think of? If you said a carpet of carbon nanotubes, you probably work with a Rice University team of scientists whose current project is "pushing the limit of how much light can be absorbed into one material." Their new material could lead to big advances in energy production and defense, Reuters reports.

Thirty times darker than the current standard for blackness, the new carbon swatch absorbs over 99.9% of light that hits it, which could benefit solar energy collection methods. In comparison, the blackest black paint only absorbs 90%-95% of light. The team is now testing the material against other light wavelengths—research that could lead to better stealth technology.