World's Whitest Paint Is Now Thin Enough to Coat Cars, Spacecraft
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In 2021, another team of scientists set out to answer precisely that question. Purdue University researchers created the whitest of white, a color that reflected a staggering 98.1% of light. In fact, this effervescent hue was so unique the team earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Yet, unlike with Vantablack, the promise of paint made with this shade relied on a little adjustment: It needed to be thinner.
The same team behind the world's whitest paint just reformatted its chemistry to make the medium significantly less thick. Now, they say, the special paint is suitable to coat things like cars, airplanes, trains and even T-shirts. In turn, it'd reflect a ton of sunlight from these items, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.
"This not only saves money, but it reduces energy usage, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions," Xiulin Ruan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue and author of the study, said in a statement. "And unlike other cooling methods, this paint radiates all the heat into deep space, which also directly cools down our planet. It's pretty amazing that a paint can do all that."
To be clear, it's not commercially available yet. But Ruan said the team is currently trying to figure out how to make it so. Two images are seen side-by-side. On the left, there's a yellow gem in front of a black background. On the right is the same setup, except the gem is covered in MIT's blackest black coating. It basically looks as though it disappeared. The Redemption of Vanity is a work of art by MIT artist-in-residence Diemut Strebe. On the left is a yellow gem. On the right is the same gem covered in the blackest black on Earth. Look again. It's there, I promise.
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