On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, a 16.78 carat diamond – valued at more than $ 2 million – disappear.
Granted, Denizens of the Stock Exchange are no strangers to making vast amounts of wealth vanish, but this time the scientists are doing the heavy lifting. Working with artist Diemut Strive, a team of researchers from New Year's Eve, in black and white, almost 100% light-free voids.
According to the researchers, who described the coating in a study published Sept. 12 in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfacescreated this, but more than 99.996% of any light that touches it.
Brian Wardle, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, says, "Our material is 10 times blacker than anything that's ever been reported." said in a statement,
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The team accidentally creates the new coating, while trying to design an improved process for growing carbon nanotubes (essentially, microscopically small strings of carbon) on surfaces like aluminum foil. Whenever the surface is exposed to open air, it forms a plexiglass barrier between the nanotubes and the foil. Where the nanotubes could grow without oxygen interference.
With millions of tangled nanotubes now studying the foil like a microscopic forest of, incoming photons of light got lost and had a hard time exiting from the foil's surface. The foil, the team found, had turned completely black – so black, the ridges of the aluminum were completely invisible when viewed straight on.
Kehang Cui, a professor at Shanghai's Jiao Tong University, said in the statement, "I'm not thinking about it." "So, I thought I should measure the optical reflectance of the sample."
Cui and colleagues compare the reflectivity of their new coating with other light-devouring nanostructures, including the previous record holder for darkness, Vantablack, They are tested against each other in the light.
The effect, as you can see in the image of the diamond above, is eerie. Once exposed to the coating, the brilliant yellow diamond seemingly loses all its facets, flattening into what artist Diemut Strebe called "a child of black hole"from which no light or shadows can escape.
Incidentally, this coating could be used to help astronomers see actual black holes, by applying the material to telescope-mounted shades that help reduce glare from the stars. For now, though, you can see the diamond-shaped void for yourself at New York Stock Exchange until Nov. 25.
Originally published on Live Science,