Black: Very Black

At California University San Diego, L Caldwell has made the blackest of paints for the Concentrating Solar Power Plants of her research project.

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Sunlight is focussed on it from an array of mirrors on the ground. The secret of the new paint lies in nanotechnology – creating a surface made up of layers of microscopic particles. It is designed to minimise reflection. _83386417_slab   _83386415_nobbly

The research team claims that it can convert up to 90% of the sunlight it captures into heat. “The size of these particles matches the wavelengths of light, which is in the order of a few nanometres”, Prof Chen says. “So when light gets in, it will get trapped. It’s as though it gets lost in a miniature forest, and never comes out”. Some compare this to an eclipse or Czech black theatre:

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Cinema art can also retain high energy in its blackness:

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but it’s not so easy to release it.

Meanwhile, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and its Event Horizon Telescope team are looking for a black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. They have an infrared image which shows the challenge: 09BLACKHOLEJP1-master1050 NASA/JPL-Caltech