Patented: History of Inventions


Vantablack: the darkest material on earth

Season 1, Ep. 44


Usually we talk about dead people on this podcast. It is history after all. But this week we’ve got living, breathing Ben Jen on talking about his invention Vantablack.

Vantablack is so dark, so black, that all details of the objects it covers dissolves. 99.965% of light that hits it is absorbed. It is no longer possible to tell what you are looking at. All you see is a black hole in space.

It was created by Ben and his colleagues at his company Surrey Nanosystems. They produced it for the space industry who had asked for something really, really good at absorbing light.

But this darkest of materials has gone on to have a life of its own causing outrage in the art world and provoking emotional responses in everyone that sees its strangeness.

The episode was produced by Freddy Chick


The senior producer is Charlotte Long


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