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I’d like a coat made out of this stuff, but that’s just me…

In the iconic movie This is Spinal Tap, lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel said of his band’s black album cover, “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” He was wrong. A scientist at Rice University has created the darkest material known to man, a carpet of carbon nanotubes that reflects only 0.045 percent of all light shined upon it. That’s four times darker than the previously darkest known substance…

As it absorbs nearly all light, Ajayan said it could be useful in the collection and storage of solar energy. Also, as it minimizes the scatter of stray light, it could improve optical instruments such as telescopes.

Rice researchers make a dark discovery – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. wikityler says:

    So how long until I can replace my camera’s felt with this stuff?

  2. macegr says:

    Camera felt? Come on…make a suit of this stuff and you’re the Living Silhouette, or an iPod commercial. Put it in a spray can and you could make virtual doors to fool your enemies.

  3. garyg says:

    i thought it looked more pastel black.

  4. Wile E. Coyote says:

    I’m gonna use this to make a fake tunnels in the side of a mountain, then paint the road stripes to curve over to the fake tunnel entrance. I saw something like that when I was younger, don’t remember where, and I always wanted to try it.

  5. amp says:

    ^^^^ lol @ Wile

  6. cde says:

    Zaphod’s attention however was elsewhere. His attention was riveted on the ship standing next to Hotblack Desiato’s limo. His mouths hung open.

    “That,” he said, “that … is really bad for the eyes …”

    Ford looked. He too stood astonished.

    It was a ship of classic, simple design, like a flattened salmon, twenty yards long, very clean, very sleek. There was just one remarkable thing about it.

    “It’s so … black!” said Ford Prefect, “you can hardly make out its shape … light just seems to fall into it!”

    Zaphod said nothing. He had simply fallen in love.

    The blackness of it was so extreme that it was almost impossible to tell how close you were standing to it.

    “Your eyes just slide off it …” said Ford in wonder. It was an emotional moment. He bit his lip.

  7. JSpencer says:

    I imagine that would make for one warm lab coat.

  8. e.w.barker says:

    Hello? Solar water heater, here I come!

  9. yaddayaddayoda says:

    But can you turn it up to eleven?

  10. Jonathan says:

    I want my curtains made of this stuff.