Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
Vantablack, aka Vertically Aligned Nanotube Array BLACK, is the blackest material around, absorbing 99.96 percent of incident visible light. Now, in our endless march toward absolutes of all kinds, there is a new, improved Vantablack.
It's so black that its blackness cannot be measured by a spectrometer. It's so black it makes the inside of your pocket look like sunshine. It's black.
(Surrey Nanosystems Vantablack)
Vantablack is made by chemically growing a network of carbon nanotubes (each of them is just 20 nanometers in diameter and approximately 14 microns to 50 microns in length) in a high-temperature chamber, creating a forest of sorts on a base such as aluminum—the nanotubes are so small and dense that the company reports that over a billion of them exist on a 0.1 in square patch. The material is then applied as a coating to another object—light hitting the coating is absorbed because it is bounced around between the nanotubes instead of being reflected back.
Golden Age science fiction fans recall black coating from Doc Smith's 1942 novel Gray Lensman :
“Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive, and I don’t need ports or windows. At that, though, one percent reflection would be enough to give me away at a critical time. How’d it be to put a couple of the boys on that job? Have them put a decimal point after the ninety nine and see how many nines they can tack on behind it?”
In the modern era, fans of Gene Wolf's Shadow of the Torturer recall fuligin, and the absolute black from Douglas Adams's novel Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe. Both were published in 1980.
I enjoy collecting "blackest black" stories; take a look for yourself:
- Femtosecond Laser Pulse Turns Metals Pitch Black (2006)
- Carbon Nanotube Blackness Blacker Than Black (2008)
- New Black From NASA Uses Nanotubes (2010)
- Blacker-Than-Black Corrugated Metamaterials (2011)
- NASA's Super-Black Now Even Blacker (2011)
- Army Wants Black Blacker Than Black (2012)
- Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black (2014)
- Blackest Black? New Disordered Nanostructured Material (2015)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/2/2017)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'
Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''
The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.
Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'
Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.
Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.
Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'
Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'
Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.
EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.
Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'
New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'
Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!
Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories