Back in 2004 we declared I'm wearing black until I find something darker, and now there's something darker. Finally. We're needing to mix up the wardrobe.
The Independant reports:
A British company has produced a "strange, alien" material so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, setting a new world record. To stare at the "super black" coating made of carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair – is an odd experience. It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss.
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.
A black this black will of course be used for more than turtlenecks and glasses frames. A black this black can be used as camouflage.
Vantablack, which was described in the journal Optics Express and will be launched at the Farnborough International Airshow this week, works by packing together a field of nanotubes, like incredibly thin drinking straws. These are so tiny that light particles cannot get into them, although they can pass into the gaps between. Once there, however, all but a tiny remnant of the light bounces around until it is absorbed.
Well well, this sounds familiar. Like Absolute Black.
"That," he said, "that... is really bad for the eyes."
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!"
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.