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This Is The Darkest Material In The World And It's A Big Deal

Vantablack.

No, it's not Marvel's latest fictional wonder substance, but a technological marvel you'll be hearing a lot about over the next few years.

Constructed by a team of engineers in the UK at Surrey NanoSystems, Vantablack gains its impossibly black appearance from nanotubes - billions of tiny carbon structures that allow light to enter and bounce about before being absorbed.

Each carbon nanotube has a diameter of less than one-thousandth of a human hair and resembles a tube with walls a couple of atoms thick. Because they are so small, they can be arranged to be really effective at absorbing light and other radiation - with a wealth of possible uses, from coating Lynx cans to buildings. 

For an idea of our dark future, Surrey Nanosystems CTO Ben Jensen told us just how Vantablack is going to change a bunch of industries (much of which we aren't allowed to tell you... yet).

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