“World’s Blackest Black” Absorbs So Much Light It Makes 3D Objects Look Flat

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If you thought that all black was the same, think again. Vantablack, developed by a UK company in 2014 and touted as the “world's blackest black,” is being one-upped by a new version of itself. Surrey NanoSystems developed the substance from densely packed carbon nanotubes, creating a non-reflective substance that absorbs 99.6% of the light that hits it.

But things just got blacker. The company has continued to push their technology and just recently announced Vantablack 2.0, which promises to be even blacker than the “blackest black.” In fact, during testing, Surrey NanoSystems' spectrometers couldn't even detect it.

Vantablack gained a firestorm of press when British artist Anish Kapoor asked for an arrangement where he gained exclusive use of Vantablack in exchange for his help in developing new uses for the product. This led to a public feud in the art world, as many artists believe that Vantablack should be available for free usage.

While the original substance is “free space material that doesn’t tolerate handling,” Vantablack 2.0 is “a solid coating that is far more tolerant.” Now we'll sit back and wait to see how the world's new blackest black will be put to use.

This testing video demonstrates how Vantablack 2.0 is undetectable to lasers, making it the new “blackest black.”

Vantablack transforms three-dimensional objects into seemingly flat surfaces.

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Still not convinced? Check out these test images, where crinkled foil is undetectable after being covered with the black substance.

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vantablack blackest black paint
Surrey NanoSystems: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
h/t: [Huffington Post, artnet]

 All images via Surrey NanoSystems.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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