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Why Scientists and Artists Want The Blackest Substances on Earth | Wired

https://thescene.com/watch/wired/why-scientists-and-artists-want-the-blackest-substances-on-earth

Artists and scientists are searching for ever more light-absorbing materials. To find out what’s behind the quest for ultra-blacks, WIRED’s Arielle Pardes talked with artist Stuart Semple and physicist John Lehman about these amazing materials.

RELEASED ON 1/17/2020


CULTURE HUSTLE’S BLACK 3.0


TRANSCRIPT

00:00
THIS IS AN ULTRA-BLACK. 
00:02
AND IN CASE YOU MISSED THE MEMO, 
00:04
ULTRA-BLACKS ARE THE NEW BLACK. 
00:06
THESE LIGHT-CAPTURING COATINGS HAVE BEEN USED 
00:09
TO COVER LUXURY CARS, AND EVEN MAKE ART PROJECTS. 
00:13
[POPPING] 
00:14
LIKE THIS BLACK HOLE, WHICH WAS SO BLACK
00:17
A VIEWER ACTUALLY FELL IN.
00:19
THEIR DEPTH PERCEPTION RENDERED USELESS
00:21
BY THE OPTICAL ILLUSION.
00:23
THAT BLACK HOLE IS AN ARTWORK BY THE ARTIST ANISH KAPOOR,
00:26
WHO CONTROVERSIALLY SECURED EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO USE WHAT WAS
00:30
THEN THE BLACKEST COATING CALLED VANTABLACK IN HIS WORK.
00:33
THAT UPSET A LOT OF OTHER ARTISTS WHO ALSO WANTED
00:37
TO USE THESE BLACKEST BLACKS.
00:39
AND THE WHOLE ART COMMUNITY WERE LIKE,
00:40
WE CAN’T TAKE THIS!
00:41
THIS IS SO OUT OF ORDER!
00:43
THIS IS SO RUDE.
00:44
YOU’VE GOTTA MAKE A BLACK THAT’S BETTER THAN HIS BLACK.
00:47
THAT’S STUART SEMPLE, AND HE CREATED THIS PAINT,
00:50
WHICH IS ONE OF THE BLACKEST PAINTS YOU CAN BUY.
00:52
[STUART] BLACK 3.0 IS LITERALLY THE CLOSEST YOU CAN GET
00:55
TO A BLACK HOLE IN A BOTTLE.
00:57
[ARIELLE] BUT HERE’S THE THING, THERE ARE BLACKER BLACKS.
01:00
AND SCIENTISTS ARE MEASURING JUST
01:02
HOW MUCH LIGHT THEY CAN CAPTURE.
01:04
OUR BLACKS ARE THE BLACKEST THAT WE KNOW OF.
01:07
[ARIELLE] THAT’S JOHN LEHMAN, A SCIENTIST AT
01:09
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY.
01:11
HE’S HELPED DEVELOP ONE OF THE BLACKEST ULTRA-BLACKS YET.
01:15
THE NOT-SO-SECRET SAUCE?
01:18
CARBON NANOTUBES, WHICH CAN ONLY REALLY
01:21
BE SEEN UNDER POWERFUL MAGNIFICATION.
01:23
CARBON NANOTUBES ARE A STRUCTURE MADE OF A LAYER
01:27
OF GRAPHENES A MILLIONTH OF THE DIAMETER OF A HUMAN HAIR.
01:32
THOSE NANOTUBE BLACKS MIGHT HAVE MILITARY APPLICATIONS,
01:34
BE USEFUL FOR PHOTOGRAPHY,
01:36
AND TO MAKE EVER MORE ACCURATE SENSORS.
01:39
SO, WHY DO WE CARE?
01:41
I SPOKE TO BOTH SEMPLE AND LEHMAN
01:43
TO FIND OUT WHAT’S BEHIND THIS RACE TO MAKE
01:46
THE MOST LIGHT TRAPPING SUBSTANCES YET.
01:49
BUT FIRST, LET’S WATCH SOME PAINT DRY.
01:53
FOR YOU THIS JOURNEY REALLY BEGAN WITH ANISH KAPOOR,
01:57
AND THIS SORT OF LOCKING UP OF THE BLACKEST BLACK.
02:01
IF THAT HADN’T HAPPENED, WOULD THERE BE THIS RACE
02:03
TO CREATE THE BLACKEST BLACK IN THE ART WORLD?
02:05
I DON’T THINK THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN,
02:07
BECAUSE I DON’T THINK THE ART WORLD WOULD HAVE EVEN KNOWN
02:09
THAT THERE WAS A MATERIAL LIKE THIS.
02:11
I MEAN IF IT HAD STAYED IN ASTRONOMY, OR DEFENSE,
02:14
OR MILITARY OR SOMETHING, WE WOULDN’T HAVE KNOWN IT EXISTED.
02:16
BUT BECAUSE ANISH WAS USING IT,
02:19
ARTISTS SORT OF TUNED INTO IT,
02:21
AND THEN WE REALIZED THAT WE WANTED
02:23
TO HAVE A GO AND USE SOMETHING LIKE THAT, TOO.
02:25
WE’RE ARTISTS.
02:26
WE’RE INTERESTED IN WHAT YOU CAN SEE WITH YOUR EYE.
02:28
SO REALLY, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT IT IS DOING IN
02:30
THE INFRARED SPECTRUM, AND UV SPECTRUM IN A SCIENCE LAB.
02:34
WHAT WE WANT IS A REALLY FLAT BLACK LOOKING BLACK
02:36
WE CAN MAKE WORK WITH.
02:38
SO, IF YOU PUT IT NEXT TO VANTABLACK,
02:40
YEAH IT KINDA LOOKS SIMILAR TO THE NAKED EYE.
02:42
BUT IF YOU START MEASURING IT IN A LAB,
02:43
THERE’S MILES OF DIFFERENCE.
02:45
WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT
02:48
THE IDEA OF CREATING THE BLACKEST BLACK PAINT?
02:52
I THINK ARTISTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN VERY INTERESTED IN BLACK
02:55
BECAUSE IT’S ACTUALLY NOT A COLOR.
02:57
WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT,
03:00
AND THAT’S JUST BEEN EXCITING SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.
03:03
SO WHEN YOU’RE GOING ABOUT TRYING TO MAKE
03:05
A PAINT THAT IS NOT A COLOR,
03:07
BUT THE ABSENCE OF COLOR, WHERE DO YOU BEGIN?
03:10
A LOT OF THE OTHER SUPER BLACK THINGS
03:12
THAT YOU SEE ARE SCIENTIFIC PROCESSES.
03:14
AND THEY’RE INCREDIBLE, BUT THEY’RE MADE IN LABS,
03:17
AND THEY GROW NANOTUBES,
03:19
AND THEY’RE MADE IN VACUUM CHAMBERS.
03:20
IT’S COMPLICATED.
03:21
WE APPROACHED IT LIKE PAINT MAKERS.
03:23
SO, BLACK 3 ISN’T THE SAME THING
03:26
AS THESE VANTABLACKS OR SINGULARITY BLACK.
03:29
ALTHOUGH IT DOES HAVE NANO PARTICLES IN IT,
03:32
IT IS VERY MUCH A PAINT.
03:34
SO WE HAD TO CREATE AN NEW PIGMENT
03:36
FROM SCRATCH CALLED BLACK MAGIC, WHICH IS BORN MATTE.
03:39
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE WAYS
03:41
YOU’VE SEEN BLACK 3.0 BEING USED IN THE WILD?
03:44
I’VE SEEN IT USED IN SO MANY EXCITING WAYS.
03:47
YOU KNOW, WE ALWAYS WANTED TO MAKE SOMETHING USABLE,
03:49
SO THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT.
03:50
BUT ASTRONOMERS ARE USING IT,
03:52
AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS INSIDE THEIR TELESCOPES,
03:54
SO THEY REFLECT LESS LIGHT.
03:55
PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE USING IT INSIDE CAMERA BODIES.
03:58
MAGICIANS ARE USING IT.
04:00
[ARIELLE] SURE, THIS PAINT IS COOL,
04:02
AND IT MAKES FOR SOME PRETTY NEAT ART PROJECTS,
04:04
BUT SCIENTISTS ARE PUSHING
04:06
FOR THESE LIGHT ABSORBING MATERIALS FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.
04:09
THIS IS A MICROSCOPIC IMAGE OF A FOREST OF CARBON NANOTUBES.
04:13
THAT’S WHAT MAKES THE MOST LIGHT ABSORBING
04:15
ULTRA-BLACKS WORK SO WELL.
04:17
CARBON NANOTUBES ARE A STRUCTURE MADE
04:20
OF A LAYER OF GRAPHENES A MILLIONTH
04:22
OF THE DIAMETER OF A HUMAN HAIR.
04:26
[ARIELLE] SO, HOW DO THESE CARBON NANOTUBES
04:27
CAPTURE PARTICLES OF LIGHT, OR PHOTONS
04:29
AS SCIENTISTS CALL THEM?
04:31
SO BASICALLY WHAT WE’RE DOING WHEN
04:33
WE MAKE SOMETHING VERY BLACK
04:35
IS WE’RE CREATING THIS TOPOLOGY WHEREIN
04:40
IF PHOTONS INTERSECT THIS COATING,
04:43
THEY RATTLE AROUND UNTIL THEY GET ABSORBED.
04:45
BUT MAKING LIGHT-ABSORBING CARBON NANOTUBES ISN’T EASY.
04:49
IT HAS TO BE DONE UNDER CAREFUL CONDITIONS.
04:51
EACH LAB DOES IT A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY,
04:53
BUT THE BASICS ARE ROUGHLY THE SAME.
04:55
SO, WHEN YOU’RE DEVELOPING THIS EXTREMELY BLACK,
04:58
LIGHT-ABSORBING SURFACE,
05:00
YOU HAVE TO START WITH THESE NANOTUBES.
05:02
HOW ARE THOSE GROWN OR DEVELOPED?
05:04
SO, LET’S SAY WE’RE GONNA MAKE SOME CARBON NANOTUBES.
05:07
SO, WE DO IN FACT GROW THEM IN AN EVACUATED OVEN.
05:12
THAT IS IT HAS A VACUUM.
05:14
AND WE’RE GONNA INTRODUCE CARBON INTO THAT OVEN,
05:17
AND THAT’S GONNA BE THE BASIS OF THE NANOTUBE.
05:20
SO WE’RE GONNA GROW THE NANOTUBES ON A SUBSTRATE,
05:22
WHICH IS IN OUR CASE IS SILICON.
05:25
YOU CAN THINK OF THAT AS A COOKIE SHEET.
05:26
THEN WE’RE GONNA GREASE THE COOKIE SHEET WITH IRON,
05:29
AND THEN AS THE SUBSTRATE HEATS UP,
05:32
AND THE CARBON IS INTRODUCED,
05:34
THE NANOTUBE WILL START TO GROW FROM THE SUBSTRATE.
05:39
AND THE LONGER WE BAKE IT, SO TO SPEAK,
05:42
THE TALLER THE NANOTUBE WILL GROW.
05:45
AFTER THAT, WE TAKE IT OUT OF THE OVEN,
05:46
AND WE HAVE A WAFER WITH NANOTUBES ON IT.
05:49
SO, THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS IS MORE
05:51
THAN JUST A VANITY PROJECT.
05:52
WE’RE NOT JUST TRYING TO MAKE THE BLACKEST BLACK
05:54
BECAUSE IT MAKES FOR COOL ART,
05:56
OR BECAUSE IT’S A GREAT THING TO BRAG ABOUT.
05:59
BUT BECAUSE THERE ARE REAL PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
06:01
OF THIS STUFF.
06:02
EXACTLY.
06:03
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
06:05
WE CAN DO WITH THESE BLACKEST BLACKS?
06:07
WE’RE NOT JUST TRYING TO MAKE THE BLACKEST BLACK,
06:09
WE’RE TRYING TO MAKE USEFUL DETECTORS, RIGHT?
06:13
SO, THE CARBON NANOTUBE COATINGS ON A DETECTOR ALLOW US
06:17
TO DO BETTER MEASUREMENTS OF THE TEMPERATURE OF THE EARTH.
06:20
THERE IS ROOM FOR 10 TIMES IMPROVEMENT
06:24
OVER WHAT’S BEEN DONE.
06:25
THE TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS WE HAVE
06:28
OF THE EARTH RIGHT NOW COULD BE IMPROVED
06:30
BY A FACTOR OF 10 WITH YOUR INSTRUMENTS?
06:34
THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT WE CAN DO
06:35
IN THE LAB ON EARTH, AND WHAT WE CAN DO IN SPACE.
06:39
SO, OUR GOALS FOR WHAT WE’RE DOING IN SPACE
06:42
ARE APPROACHING A 10 TIMES IMPROVEMENT.
06:46
AND BECAUSE WE CAN PUT THEM ON SMALL, FAST,
06:50
RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE DETECTORS MEANS WE CAN PUT
06:52
THEM INTO SPACE MORE READILY.
06:54
I’M IMAGINING THESE SORT OF SATELLITES PAINTED WITH
06:58
THE BLACKEST BLACK COATING BEING LAUNCHED INTO SPACE.
07:01
IS THAT SORT OF ACCURATE?
07:03
OR CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU’VE ACTUALLY SENT INTO SPACE?
07:06
SO, FOR THE BLACKEST COATINGS THAT WE PUT ON DETECTORS,
07:11
THEY’RE TYPICALLY PART OF A LARGER INSTRUMENT.
07:14
SO, THE DETECTOR MIGHT BE A FEW MILLIMETERS BY A MILLIMETER,
07:19
AND IT’S BURIED INSIDE THIS INSTRUMENT THAT HAS A PRISM,
07:23
AND SOME OPTICS, AND SO ON.
07:25
SO IT’S TAKING THAT LIGHT, DISPERSING IT,
07:28
PICKING A WAVELENGTH AND LOOKING AT IT VERY CLOSELY.
07:31
AND DO YOU JUST HAVE THE ONE SATELLITE,
07:33
OR WHAT KIND OF SCALE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
07:35
RIGHT NOW WE JUST HAVE ONE SATELLITE.
07:37
WE’VE JUST LAUNCHED OUR FIRST ONE,
07:41
AND WE HAVE ANOTHER ONE PLANNED.
07:42
[ARIELLE] THIS OBVIOUSLY ISN’T THE FIRST ATTEMPT
07:44
TO MAKE AN ULTRA-BLACK BLACK.
07:46
THERE ARE OTHER MATERIALS LIKE VANTABLACK IS ONE
07:49
THAT’S BEEN IN THE HEADLINES A LOT.
07:50
BLACK 3.0 PAINT IS ANOTHER ONE.
07:52
WHAT MAKES YOUR BLACK DIFFERENT THAN THOSE ONES?
07:56
WE ARE INTERESTED SCIENTIFICALLY IN THIS QUESTION
07:58
OF WHAT’S THE BLACKEST BLACK,
08:01
AND TO BE FRANK, WE HAVE A PUBLICATION WHICH SHOWS
08:07
THAT OUR BLACKS ARE THE BLACKEST THAT WE KNOW OF.
08:10
AND WE’VE RIGOROUSLY DEFENDED THE UNCERTAINTIES
08:12
AND THE MEASUREMENT METHOD.
08:14
AND IN A SPIRIT OF SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS,
08:18
I WOULD CHALLENGE ANYBODY ELSE TO DO THE SAME
08:21
AND SEE IF THE AGREE WITH US.
08:23
BY YOUR OWN MEASUREMENTS,
08:25
THE MATERIAL YOU’VE DEVELOPED CAPTURES SOME SMALL PERCENTAGE
08:29
OF MORE LIGHT THAN ANYTHING ELSE OUT THERE.
08:33
THAT’S WHAT WE BELIEVE.
08:34
WHEN WE GET TO THIS LEVEL OF BLACKNESS,
08:39
WE’RE IN THIS REALM OF, WELL,
08:42
IS IT REALLY THE BLACKEST BLACK,
08:43
OR IS IT THE BEST MEASUREMENT OF THE BLACKEST BLACK?
08:47
AND SO AT LEAST IN THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD FOR US,
08:51
WHERE WE HAVE TO KNOW VERY ACCURATELY,
08:54
WE PUT EFFORT INTO THAT.
08:55
SO I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH BLACKER WE CAN MAKE SOMETHING
08:58
AND ACTUALLY KNOW THAT WE MADE IT BLACKER.
09:00
BECAUSE THERE’S SUCH A SMALL AMOUNT
09:02
OF LIGHT BEING REFLECTED BACK THAT IT
09:04
BECOMES INCREASINGLY HARD TO MEASURE
09:05
AT THAT AMOUNT OF LIGHT.
09:06
YES, EXACTLY. EXACTLY.
09:09
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.
09:12
YEAH, IT’S GREAT TO TALK TO YOU.
09:13
THANK YOU.
09:18
[ROCK MUSIC]

The Polaroid Lab

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youtu.be/EUVq7adbDsQ

Who wants to buy this for me when it comes out on October 10th?

I’ll make lots of photos for you 😀😀😀😀

iOS 13 from iPhone OS

Posted on Posted in Personal, Studio / Work, TechnologyNo Comments on iOS 13 from iPhone OS

iOS13

from iPhone OS

Who remembers the first iPhone?I mean, this was 2007, George W. Bush was still in office.

It was January 9th, 2007, that Steve Jobs unleashed his most (arguably) influential form of technology that changed modern society and the way we interact with computers and screens on a daily basis. There was plenty else in the mix that has changed and not all in part due to the iPhone, but seriously stop and think for a moment, what if it never came to be? What if Apple just stuck to Computers and iPods and never took them elsewhere? 

Contemplating that, I wonder if today’s iPhone would be approved by Mr. Jobs’ standards? Or if it would be somewhere else in its own evolution? Hell, or if there would be something new or different altogether.

Before the iPhone,

we were used to mobile phones (they were dumb then, not smart) that had buttons, phones that flipped open, and some came with a stylus, like the beloved Crackberry (first introduced to market in 1999). But that’s a whole other article.

The iPhone has not always been at the head of the pack these days, sometimes even struggling to keep up. However, I don’t want to take this article into a pessimistic rant about how I’m unsure of the future of Apple, or how I’ve worried from the day that Steve Jobs died; so I’m just taking it as a stroll down memory lane. Remembering the predecessors to today’s iPhone 11 Pro Max and how all the features that keep getting crammed into these tiny computers we carry around.

Side note, the first OS for iPhone was originally OSX. It operated on the same system, but shortly was realized to be its own beast and was born iPhone OS, then 4 years later came iOS (4).

AFFILIATE ADVERTISING

iphone 2g

Other side note, I must say, I’m really into the Midnight Green color option, so so good, they took a cue from the fashion world. Deep hues of green, I always attribute that color to Lanvin (know your references kids). If you’re an artist, you probably think Hooker’s Green or perhaps Phthalo Green. 

 

iPhone 1

(Pictured above) The first incarnation did not do much, compared to the device you now hold today. (Unless somehow you still have an operating 1, in which case that probably belongs in a museum.) But it did break everyone's idea on what a phone was and could be...

And it only came in one color.

selfie/Facetime

Only 1 camera, on the back, no video anything, well, that didn't involve itunes. But certainly no Facetime, Instastories, Snapchat, nope, nothing like that yet.

APP STORE

You want what? There was no app store. You only had what Apple wanted to give you. The very first version, you couldn't even rearrange the apps. It was not until the next generation that the App store came to be and third party apps became more readily available.

SIRI

Siri, who? There was no Siri, speak to text, spelling correction, auto detect, anything like that. So basically you had to type really carefully and if your hands were too big or drunk, you were S.O.L.

Big Business

To think about all the subsequent things that have come from the iPhone as well is a bit astounding. So many new companies have been birthed because of the strong impact the iPhone has made and its popularity.

The plethora of apps and major companies that might not be around, if not for the inception of iPhone. Think Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare, delivery, etc. options there are now and ways to rent a house or go on vacation. To shopping apps, tech apps, social media apps and companies and the list goes on.

Then there’s accessories for your phone like cases, screen protectors, insurance, cameras, lights, attachments, pop sockets, holders, car gadgets and ugh… you get the point. What a monumental impact this creation has had on our society and how’s shaped us to where we are now and our trajectory into the future.

My hats off to you, Mr. Jobs.


Below, I’ve included a gallery (of sorts) of all things iPhone inspired by my world or art and design. All the links are to products that I’ve created, so feel free to check ’em out, maybe even be compelled to buy something. (wink. wink.)

And to all you new iPhone 11 Pro Max or whoevers, NO, I don’t have cases for those yet. Soon I hope.

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Art on Instagram: Engagement Edition

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2020 Is Around The Corner

Posted on Posted in Creative, TechnologyNo Comments on 2020 Is Around The Corner

I’m constantly editing… when the moment of inspiration comes, I have to take advantage of it. This list is what came from the muse this morning.

Just from one song, I pulled together this “set” of current things I’m listening to as well as some dusty stuff from the closet. I’ll probably edit it more later and add or subtract, but let me know what you think or if there are some things you think would work in there.

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