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Daily MailScientists discover the new black: British researchers devise material so dark it looks like a black hole
Vantablack absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of light, a new world record
It is so dark the human eye struggles to discern its dimensions
The material gives the appearance of a 'black hole' on all it covers
'These new materials, they are pretty much as black as we can get, almost as close to a black hole as we could imagine.'
British researchers have created the 'new black' of the science world - and it is being dubbed super black.
The material absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of light, a new world record, and is so dark the human eye struggles to discern its shape and dimension, giving the appearance of a black hole.
Named Vantablack, or super black, it also conducts heat seven and half times more effectively than copper, and is ten times stronger than steel.
It is created by Surrey NanoSystems using carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between.
It has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil which can be seen in pictures released by the company. While the foil is crinkled and uneven, the surface covered by Vantablack appears completely smooth because of its light absorbing property.
The super black material has been developed for use in astronomical cameras, telescopes and infrared scanning systems and will be launched at the Farnborough International Airshow this week.
Ben Jensen, Chief Technology Officer of Surrey NanoSystems, said: 'Vantablack is a major breakthrough by UK industry in the application of nanotechnology to optical instrumentation.
'For example, it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars, and allows the use of smaller, lighter sources in space-borne black body calibration systems.
'Its ultra-low reflectance improves the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and air-borne instrumentation.'
Stephen Westland, professor of colour science and technology at Leeds University, told the paper:
I could see this used for military camo, imagine stuff covered in this at night... would literally be invisible even if you shone light on it. Would be pretty cool even for normal stuff as a neat finish.
Cue loads of premiership footballers painting their super cars with this.