A new blacker-than-black metamaterial absorbs almost all the light that hits it, heralding a new breed of stealth technology.
The material's internal structure absorbs almost all the electromagnetic radiation in a particular range, New Scientist reports. Ordinary black objects, by contrast, always reflect a bit of light. The material could be applied to all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, meaning it could be used to make materials invisible to radar.
Designed by Evgenii Narimanov of Purdue University, Mikhail Noginov of Norfolk State University in Virginia and their colleagues, the material consists of silver nanowires embedded in very thin 0.4-inch aluminum oxide squares. Their array-like structure gives them their unusual properties, New Scientist says.
The researchers tested their new black material with near-infrared radiation, just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. When the radiation hit the polished material at less than 45 degrees from perpendicular, about 20 percent of the radiation bounced off. When they roughened the material so it wasn't smooth, less than 1 percent of the radiation bounced off.
Narimanov told New Scientist the technology would likely be used to build radar-proof stealth equipment.
This sounds like something the military wouldn't want popping up all over the web. Especially the decent explination of how they created it. I'm sure there was a lot more to it but it seems like a great jumping off point for any other government interested in this.
Also, I wonder what exactly it looks like to the naked eye.
I bet the human eye has a hard time looking at it because the brain might have a hard time deciphering its pattern. When it comes to the military this will probably go the way of Quantum Nucleonics everyone will rave over it then the military will stop talking about it then studies will put out saying it doesn't work as promised, then the world forgets about it.
when can I paint my car in radar absorbing metamaterials?
Hahaha... I keep imagining something trippy looking that eventually gets turned into a material the fashion industry ends up using to make 80's/90's style night club shirts. Highly improbable, I know... but still funny.
So when can I buy my wife a pair of pants made from these so she stops asking if her butt looks big?
"Why no, honey....truthfully, I can't even tell it's there !!!"
For decades, friends of mine have asked me why there are no clear pictures of Alien spacecraft if they are really visiting us.
I have continually explained to them that we only see things because light and or radar bounces off of it, and that anything that absorbs or transfers light or radar around it is invisible to humans and their technology.
now we too have this technology and we will not see our aircraft in addition to any extra biological entities that choose to visit the animals in the zoo (us).
It's possible to see this if everything else was white... lol
a black blob in a white room. Where's the invisibility now? I'm pretty sure you can see it at night since all you need to do is look at the blackest thing in the sky.
Reminds me of Hotblack Desiato's ship from 'The Restaurant At the End of the Universe'
"In other news tonight, an invisible milliratry aircraft colided with an invisible UFO over the white sands missle range in navada. The invisibe UFO may be an american invisible milliratry UFO and not the alein kind of UFO. Officials say the invisible crash may have been due to the invisible milliratry aircraft's lack of radar and optical visiblility. More information will be relesed if officals ever find the invisible milliratry aircraft's and invisible UFO's invisible wreackage."
Yes i know the material is only invisible to radar.
Surprised nobody mentioned Gene Wolfe's blacker-than-black fuligin.
Next time you are near an SR-71 at a museum, try using your laser pointer to put a dot on it's surface. You will be surprised.
Does this mean that all of our adolescent boyhood dreams of being able to sneak invisibly into the girls' locker room may soon be realized?
Pass me the Viagra, boys! I'm goin' in!
Can the energy sector borrow a little bit of this stuff to get hyper-efficient pv panels, please?
Not sure how it would help PV, betting you mean solar thermal.
I would think this material would be really great at absorbing all the solar energy thrown at it, thus generating lots of heat. It would be great for solar thermal as long as it is also a good conducter of heat.
Not sure what the stuff looks like, but probably the reason that it is all over the internet is that it now is an old technology, having been around for years likely, and has been replaced by something new, and currently classified.
@Tdanger: I scrolled through the comments with the sole purpose of looking for anyone else who had noted that :)
once again you have failed to see the main point of this article.. its not old technology when its obvious that in the title its "NEW" technology... plus there is no reason for popsci to take the time to post an article thats old.. if its old engineering technology then why are they saying its new? hmm... once again.. go find yourself some common sense before coming on here.