Diemut Strebe Science sets out to conquer the contested art of darkness

Financial Times Sep 25, 2019

Research findings are rarely black and white but this one is a genuine exception. Scientists in the US claim to have created the blackest material ever recorded.

The light-snaring creation — a miniature forest of carbon nanotubes grown on blackened aluminium foil — captures 99.995 per cent of light falling on to it. Since virtually none is reflected back to the observer’s eye, it looks like a peculiar void. “Blackest black” made its public debut this month at the New York Stock Exchange, in an art installation, “The Redemption of Vanity”. Diemut Strebe, artist-in-residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Art, Science and Technology, used it to coat a $2m vivid yellow diamond, rendering the gem virtually invisible against a black backdrop.

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