How black is the blackest material?
“It’s so black you almost can’t see it. It has a kind of unreal quality”, says artist Anish Kapoor, who recently acquired the exclusive rights to use the revolutionary pigment “vantablack” in art, reported The Gizmodo.
Yes. Vantablack. You can add this one to your dictionary now to describe the darkest colour ever known.
So what exactly is Vantablack?
Imagine the blackest shade of black ever made, that is Vantablack. It has been developed by British company Surrey NanoSystems and is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes. When light strikes Vantablack, it becomes trapped instead of bouncing off and is continually deflected between the tubes. This carbon-based substance absorbs 99.96% of light that hits it.
Scientists at the company had developed the substance in 2014 to help disguise satellites. Paint with its light-absorbing properties has also been used to hide Stealth fighter jets from enemy eyes.
See this second video to get a better understanding:
What is the controversy regarding Vantablack?
After Kapoor’s deal with Surrey NanoSystems went public, it sparked outrage around the world. And rightly so because he is currently the only person in the world who can paint using this colour, and has been doing so since 2014. Many took to social media to protest Kapoor’s exclusive right to use vantablack, with some calling it immoral.
English painter Christian Furr told the Mail on Sunday that he felt Kapoor was “monopolising the material”. ‘We should be able to use it. It isn’t right that it belongs to one man.’
Who exactly is Anish Kapoor?
Sir Anish Kapoor is the world-famous sculptor , who created the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture for the 2012 Olympics. He was born in India in 1954, and came to Britain in the 1970s. His previous works include a series of womb-like orbs in the Paris’ Grand Palais, and an inflatable mobile concert hall for earthquake-affected areas, reports the Guardian.
Talking about vantablack in an interview with BBC Radio 4, Sir said: ‘It’s so black you almost can’t see it. It has a kind of unreal quality and I’ve always been drawn to rather exotic materials because of what they make you feel.’
He added: ‘Imagine a space that’s so dark that as you walk in you lose all sense of who you are and what you are, and also all sense of time. Something happens to your emotional self and in disorientation you have to reach inside yourself for something else.’