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Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by natr0n, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. natr0n

    natr0n

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    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.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...ial-so-dark-that-you-cant-see-it-9602504.html
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  2. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    I want some!
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    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    What happened to the previous post regarding this?
  4. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    A new generation of stealth aircraft and ships. Maybe even stealth armours for special forces soldiers.
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  5. bubbleawsome

    bubbleawsome

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    But if you put a super light on it wouldn't it be more visible? Even 0.035% adds up eventually,
  6. Vario

    Vario

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    Could laser guided weapons work on a super black material?
  7. Shambles1980

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    im sure it only affects visible light. but i havent read it at all. but being its just a colour (or abscence of) then id say visible light only
  8. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    Similar to the question I asked previously. I wonder what would happen to a vehicle coated in this. How would RADAR or Laser react to it?
  9. RealNeil

    RealNeil

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    Cool material. I can remember being a part of using Carbon Fiber to build certain parts of the US Space Shuttle Orbiters. It was interesting, as I'm sure that this is.
    This was a long time ago.

    This material absorbs a lot of light, but wouldn't it be cool if it could store the energy from that light and reuse it later? Does it get hot when placed in the sunlight? Maybe it's a good idea for inclusion into solar panels?
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  10. Shambles1980

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    it probably absorbs a lot of heat and solar panels would probably benifit a lot
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  11. RealNeil

    RealNeil

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    If costs become low enough, I'm sure that it will find it's way into solar panels.
  12. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    If it absorbs (to be black), then it has to do something with the energy it absorbs, which is probably warm up or run some chemical reaction that consumes energy to run.

    So it should get hotter and hotter until it will get cooled by conducting heat into the table or by starting to glow
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  13. magibeg

    magibeg

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    Well I believe the key word with this particular material is "visual" light. I bet it puts out infrared like a champ.
  14. m4gicfour

    m4gicfour

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    Yes, but it would take a massive amount of light and you'd want to not waste any of the massive amounts of energy you're using so you'd want it directed... such as a LASER. More importantly, you'd probably burn it long before it became easily visible (or rather, before details became visible. It's pretty easy to see a big black blob against a bright white background for example.)

    It absorbs the vast majority of (visible) light, that energy is converted to heat. (ever notice a black car gets hotter in the sun than a white one?)

    It would depend on the wavelength of the laser (probably infrared but that's just a guess) and the wavelengths that the material absorbs.


    RADAR is electromagnetic radiation (Radio waves). Superblack coating would have no effect on RADAR's performance.

    Laser guided... see above. Hard to say but if the superblack material was targeted to the wavelengths guiding the weapon, the weapon would likely not be able to see the target since the laser is being absorbed by it rather than reflecting off for the missile/bomb/whatever to see.

    Laser... of the right wavelenths would be far MORE effective at destroying a target coated in superblack because LASER weapons work by heating the target; converting the intense directed light into heat on contact - a coating which absorbs light makes the process far more efficient. You'd want a combination reflective/ablative coating to defeat laser weapons (reflects as much light away as possible, and since it cannot reflect it all, it burns off harmlessly rather than exploding or conducting heat to internal components) Though high-powered lasers tend to cause surfaces (even super-reflective ones) to heat so rapidly that they distort, and lose their reflectivity almost instantly IIRC

    Something like LaWS would make quick work of a superblack'd target.


    Thermal solar, yes. Photovoltaic... no.

    Using a superblack coating on the elements used to collect the heat energy (not the reflective panels) with a thermal system would make it more efficient. Using it on PV would do little or nothing to help, as I understand the technology.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
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  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    likely not. the weapons hone in on the splash of reflected light, this could indeed stop that.
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