The days of "black as ebony" are over - now, you might have to say that Snow White's hair is as black as Vantablack. The new material, created by British company Surrey Nanosystems, is reportedly so "strange, alien" that it has a confusing effect on the human eye. Here's what you need to know about the blackest material in the world.
Vantablack is the new black - literally. Credit: Surrey Nanosystems
The days of "black as ebony" are over - now, you might have to say that Snow White's hair is as black as Vantablack. The new material, created by British company Surrey Nanosystems, is reportedly so "strange, alien" that it has a confusing effect on the human eye, reports the Independent. Here's what you need to know about the blackest material in the world:
1. It's blacker than Voldemort's soul.
Vantablack absorbs all but 0.035 percent of visible light, a world record - compare that to the blackest paints, which absorb between 85 and 95 percent of all light. This is as close to a black hole as anyone has gotten to on earth.
2. It's used to calibrate telescopes ... and maybe something else.
It's not just cool and bizarre to create the blackest material in existence. Astronomers can point extremely light-sensitive cameras to Vantablack to calibrate them, instead of using black paint as they did in the past. This allows them to take clearer photos of some of the oldest things in the universe. Then there might also be some military uses, but Surrey Nanosystems wasn't allowed to discuss that.
3. It excels in more than one area.
The material is made out of carbon nanotubes which are 10,000 times thinner than human hair, grown on aluminum foil. It conducts heat seven and a half times more effectively than copper and has 10 times the tensile strength of steel.
4. It's really, really black.
It's so black that the human eye has difficulty making out its shape and surface, so wrinkles on its surface are not visible. It's so black that someone wearing a dress made of the material would look like a disembodied head and limbs floating around a dress-shaped void.
5. No, you can't buy it.
Hopeful goths and Coco Chanel-wannabes will have to wait for another day to elevate the blackness of their outfits, because you won't find Vantablack at any Black Friday sale. The material is so expensive that a firm officer was reportedly unable to reveal its price.