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Scientists create darkest material

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Houston (UPI) Jan 14, 2008
A scientist at a Houston university has created the darkest known material -- about four times darker than the previous record holder.

Pulickel Ajayan, a professor of engineering at Rice University, created a carpet of carbon nanotubes that reflects 0.045 percent light, making it 100 times darker than a black-painted Corvette, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.

"The final numbers, when we measured how dark this material was, were more dramatic than we thought," Ajayan said.

Ajayan said the material, which has been submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records, may have some practical applications. He said the material's ability to absorb light could be beneficial to solar panels and it also minimizes the scattering of light, making it a potential boon to telescope manufacturers.

The previous darkest known material, a nickel and phosphorus alloy created by scientists in London, reflected about 0.16 percent of light.

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Helicopter silencers used to turn all surfaces stereo
Las Vegas, Nevada (AFP) Jan 9, 2008
A failed effort to soften the noise from British military helicopters led to a breakthrough enabling surfaces from mobile telephone screens to car roof liners to be turned into stereo speakers.







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