Photo: Courtesy of Surrey Nanosystems.
Friends, the day has come that we can retire our "I'll Stop Wearing Black When They Make a Darker Color" T-shirts. According to The Independent, British company Surrey NanoSystems "has produced a 'strange, alien' material so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 [%] of visual light, setting a new world record." Called Vantablack, the substance groups together a set of nanotubes ("like incredibly thin drinking straws"). It helps calibrate the cameras and telescopes astronomers use to photograph and study the universe's eldest entities.
But, before we plebes become giddy at the prospect of an LVBD, The Independent notes that Vantablack "is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss." In fact, "If it was used to make one of Chanel's little black dresses, the wearer's head and limbs might appear to float incorporeally around a dress-shaped hole." And, Ben Jensen, Surrey NanoSystems' chief technical officer, remarked that such a garment would be costly. So, we'll expect to see/not see Rihanna in a Vantablack number later this week, then? (The Independent)