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Science

The Blackest Material 299

Posted by kdawson
from the reflect-on-this dept.
QuantumCrypto writes "Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created 'the world's first material that reflects virtually no light.' This anti-reflection technology is based on nanomaterial and could lead to the development of more efficient solar cells, brighter LEDs, and 'smarter' light sources. In theory, if a room were to be coated with this material, switching on the lights would only illuminate the items in the room and not the walls, giving a sense of floating free in infinite space."
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The Blackest Material

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  • tsk (Score:3, Funny)

    by scapermoya (769847) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:03PM (#18244414) Homepage
    dupe.
    • by numbski (515011) *
      Dupe, and posting buttons appear busted?
    • Re:tsk (Score:5, Funny)

      by Ekhymosis (949557) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:09PM (#18244502) Homepage
      As per your signature, if the walls in the dungeon were coated with this stuff, a grue would most definately have its way with you =)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Link to earlier article: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/0 2/2113206 [slashdot.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ghoti (60903)
      What is actually interesting though is that even the combined wisdom of all the Firehose users has not been able to spot the dupe (and a bunch of others). You can still blame the editors for posting the dupe, but this collaborative filtering should really go much further.
      • Re:tsk (Score:5, Insightful)

        by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:22PM (#18244670)
        As a Firehose user, I must say that it gets difficult to keep track of which dupe stories made it to the front page and which are just dupe submissions that have not yet made it to the front page. Despite the distinctive color, the mass of submissions become a blur.
        • by syrion (744778)
          I apparently submitted my askslashdot question at a bad time of day; it was barely voted on (and voted up), but not enough to get to the front page. What's the etiquette? Can I try again? Do I just pimp it out and say "HAY GUYZ GO VOTE FOR TeamSpeak, Ventrilo - Are there Free alternatives?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by vimh42 (981236)
      but a dupe gives me a chance to relay something I forgot the first time I saw the story.

      My mother in law once saw a black shirt that said (in a dark brown font) "I'm just wearing this color until they find something darker."

      I guess I've found a new material to make a t-shirt out of.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by KillerCow (213458)

        My mother in law once saw a black shirt that said (in a dark brown font) "I'm just wearing this color until they find something darker."


        here [signals.com]
    • Re: dupe (Score:2, Informative)

      by KillerCow (213458)

      dupe.


      Dude, do it with a little style.

      Dupe: Reflectivity Reaches a New Low [slashdot.org]
  • by Clever7Devil (985356) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:03PM (#18244420)
    Moves like a fish, steers like a cow.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      Looks like a fish, Moves like a fish, steers like a cow.


      I think you got the wrong ship. I believe that one had an infra-pink lizard emblem on the neutrino housing.
  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@nOspAm.gmail.com> on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:04PM (#18244428)
    I guess we know what material Hotblack Desiato used to make his stunt ship...
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      I guess we know what material Hotblack Desiato used to make his stunt ship...

      Or the Hagunenons' horribly beweaponed chamelioid death flotilla.

      Or Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1 (TMA-1 a.k.a. The Monolith).
  • Outside (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rie Beam (632299) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:05PM (#18244438) Journal
    "In theory, if a room were to be coated with this material, switching on the lights would only illuminate the items in the room and not the walls, giving a sense of floating free in infinite space."

    Outside of that gravity thing. Sounds more like standing outside in the country.
    • by twostar (675002)
      To those of us stuck in the cubefarms of the city it's the same thing.
    • Re:Outside (Score:5, Funny)

      by Darth Muffin (781947) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:42PM (#18244878) Homepage
      ... or you could just close your eyes and get the same effect. Much cheaper too :)

      All of my kid's Goth friends are probably rejoycing and wondering when they can get a t-shirt or trechcoat made of this stuff.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DJ Nanashi (1055156)
        No no, it's Emo now, not goth.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          no, as a highschool student we have both goth and emo. The difference is goths are just like the same, goths havent changed, emo's on the other hand, are all about being pansy ass little pussies about everything and trying as hard as possible to look and act like emaciated little girls. Also the music is completely different, you cant even compair The Cruxshadows(really good band) to emo shit like falloutboy, panic at the disco, and the other "i hate my life and no one loves me bands"
        • Re:Outside (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Joebert (946227) on Monday March 05, 2007 @10:10PM (#18245658) Homepage
          What happened to the good old days when it was "pussy" & everyone knew what you meant ?
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      Yeah, but when you are outside, don't you see the ground that things are resting on? I'm guessing that when they said "if a room were to be coated with this material, switching on the lights would only illuminate the items in the room and not the walls" they meant the floor too. But also, the items would appear to cohere in space as if they were on a floor. Which they are.
  • #GGGGGG (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:06PM (#18244466)
    So, THAT black?
  • Finally, the prophecy [signals.com] can be fulfilled.
  • by chameleon_skin (672881) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:07PM (#18244478)
    The answer is none.

    None more black.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Apparently they only thought it couldn't get more black. Now it seems somebody has learned how to turn the black up to 11. I smell a new album... (and the glove).
  • Dolomite (Score:2, Funny)

    by Irongeek_ADC (903018)
    You mean it's not Dolomite?
  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:09PM (#18244510)
    It says that it reflects virtually no light. I wonder if that includes the frequencies that are used for radar. If it doesn't reflect any radar signals, that could radically change military aircraft. Currently, military aircraft use shape as well as radar absorbing materials to achieve their stealthy-ness. Imagine if you can coat an F-16 with this stuff, and bam, you have a pretty cheap stealth fighter.
    • Just don't fly it during the day.
    • by Carnildo (712617)
      I bet this stuff washes off in the rain, though.
    • by mgv (198488)

      It says that it reflects virtually no light. I wonder if that includes the frequencies that are used for radar. If it doesn't reflect any radar signals, that could radically change military aircraft. Currently, military aircraft use shape as well as radar absorbing materials to achieve their stealthy-ness. Imagine if you can coat an F-16 with this stuff, and bam, you have a pretty cheap stealth fighter.


      To detect this on radar you use two radars in two different positions and look for discrepancies in areas
      • "To detect this on radar you use two radars in two different positions and look for discrepancies in areas that don't return a signal."

        In theory, the two radars will not return any signal (From the empty space, and from the aircraft) .. so there will be no discrepancy, right?
        • He just forgot to mention the part about releasing thousands and thousands of doves wearing little tin-foil hats in order to provide a return signal.
    • by monopole (44023)
      This stuff is handy for avoiding LIDAR on glinty surfaces like windows. But the trick is making a surface which resists dirt, and water and can handle wear and tear.
      Of course, it's useless for radar, but similar principles are easy at radar frequencies (pretty much subwavelength anechoic tile) but not aerodynamic.
    • Not really, because you could just start looking for places on the radar that aren't coming back rather than points that are returning faster than normal.
  • I hate to be a warmonger here, but this stuff could probably be used in military applications as well, probably for night ops and the like. A modern day ninja outfit with this stuff comes to mind, or if the stuff could be tweaked to not only absorb light, but radar as well.

    If it reflects virutally nothing, I wonder how it dissipitates heat, or if heat is even a factor in this.

    • Re:Military use? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Carnildo (712617) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:24PM (#18244696) Homepage Journal

      I hate to be a warmonger here, but this stuff could probably be used in military applications as well, probably for night ops and the like. A modern day ninja outfit with this stuff comes to mind


      Contrary to popular belief, the best color for urban night camoflage is not solid black. Depending on the environment, it's either charcoal grey (for general hard-to-see-ness), or irregularly-patterned greys (to break up the outline of your body).
      • Re:Military use? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:42PM (#18244872) Homepage

        I hate to be a warmonger here, but this stuff could probably be used in military applications as well, probably for night ops and the like. A modern day ninja outfit with this stuff comes to mind


        Contrary to popular belief, the best color for urban night camoflage is not solid black. Depending on the environment, it's either charcoal grey (for general hard-to-see-ness), or irregularly-patterned greys (to break up the outline of your body).
        Indeed. This is because everything occurring in nature tends to reflect some light, even in the dark, when there isn't much to reflect. Solid black doesn't reflect enough, and subsequently actually stands out like a big empty void in a gray jumble of dimness.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by istartedi (132515)

        Depends on the city of course. Around here, the optimal pattern is a mix of concrete and brick spattered with rat feces and black magic marker grafiti. You'll blend right in.

    • I hate to be a warmonger here, but this stuff could probably be used in military applications as well, probably for night ops and the like. A modern day ninja outfit with this stuff comes to mind, or if the stuff could be tweaked to not only absorb light, but radar as well.

      If it reflects virutally nothing, I wonder how it dissipitates heat, or if heat is even a factor in this.

      It doesn't absorb anything. It's simply several layers of silicon dioxide nanotubes whose index of refraction is controlled by

  • If it doesn't reflect any light, it would be perfect for monitor screens. Of course, assuming it's transparent and it doesn't let light reflected by the substrate pass through.
  • Blackness (Score:5, Funny)

    by ElephanTS (624421) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:18PM (#18244604)
    Emo's are going to love this stuff.
  • What on earth are we going to do with this now that Johnny Cash is dead? Eh?
  • None more black (Score:2, Redundant)

    by spagthorpe (111133)
    "It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black." -- Nigel Tufnel
  • It seems that even the blackest material in existence is no match for the reflective power of a dupe-posting Slashdot editor.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:31PM (#18244764) Journal
    "giving a sense of floating free in infinite space" Well I tried standing in a dark space with my eyes shut, which must be pretty much the same thing, and all that happened to me was that I felt like an idiot, especially when people saw me climbing back out of the office supply cabinet.
  • by GiovanniZero (1006365) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:32PM (#18244766) Homepage Journal
    Assuming this isn't just vaporware...

    This stuff could be really cool for use in MRIs or other tight spaces that claustrophobics normally have to go into. It would give those that are normally afraid to be in small spaces the sense that they were in a vastly infinite space. That's pretty cool IMO.

    I'd also like to have my home theater coated with this stuff, think about how large your house would feel! Even with low level ceilings.

    • If we all did what you propose, pretty soon everyone would have broken noses from bumping into walls so much.
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      Isn't part of claustrophobia the sound clues that tell you you're in a tight space? I don't know it , so I don't know. But I heard that MRIs make a racket.
    • by treeves (963993)
      I doubt that would work. Being inside a small cylinder, visual cues are not the only thing giving you a sense of what you're in. Sound is also an important indicator.
  • ... to be the biggest gothtard evar!
  • Picture (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:35PM (#18244794)
    Can we get a picture?
  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:40PM (#18244850) Homepage
    Often dups will contain similar links, phrases, keywords, etc to the originally posted article ... it seems to me that an automated system could be developed that would assign a "dup rating" score to submitted articles to make dups easier to spot beforehand.

    Ron
  • Does it come in red?
  • Black pudding is very black today, Mother.
    Yes, it is black today, dear.
    Aye, that's very black tha' tis'. Even the white bits are black!

  • by Larry Lightbulb (781175) on Monday March 05, 2007 @08:51PM (#18244960)
    DOUGAL: Anyway, what else did you order?

    TED: Priest socks. Really black ones.

    DOUGAL: I read somewhere, I think it was in an article about priest socks that priest socks are blacker than any other type of socks.

    TED: That's right Dougal. Sometimes you see lay people wear what look like black socks but if you look closely you'll see they're very, very, very, very, very, very, very dark blue.

    DOUGAL: Actually that's true. I thought my uncle Tommy was wearing black socks but when I looked at them closely they were just very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY, very, very, very dark blue.

    TED: Never buy black socks in a normal shop. They'll shaft you every time!
  • Fuligin! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Diomedes01 (173241)
    One step closer to getting a Fuligin cloak for that Severian costume I've always wanted to wear to Halloween parties.
  • I want to know when I can get a shirt made out of it.
  • by PhotoGuy (189467) on Monday March 05, 2007 @09:24PM (#18245272) Homepage
    That even a previous article [slashdot.org] about the stuff failed to be seen by /. editors.
  • Wile E. Coyote painting tunnels on rocks.
  • both the original article and the dupe, when I troed to go to the link I get some sort of reset and never to the page.
  • Ever since I read Shadow of the Torturer I've wanted something that's fuligin.
  • What does it do with all this light it absorbs ?
  • Why dupe? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jinkside (838682)
    Why did people think this is/was a dupe? It looks genuine, even though the URL didn't work for me. http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=1956 [rpi.edu] worked for me, though, which I got from their main page.

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