Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003

The New Black

Inventor: National Physical Laboratory

If you thought brown was the proverbial new black, think again. Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory in Britain have developed a nickel-phosphorus compound called NPL Super Black that absorbs 99.65% of visible light. Black paint absorbs only about 97.5% of visible light—positively shiny by comparison. Not just cool, the new black is useful too. Precision optical instruments depend on eliminating any and all stray reflected light to get their readings. The blacker the black, the less reflected light, the better the data. That makes NPL Super Black a pretty bright idea.

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