What Does it Take to Make the Blackest Black?

By Esther Inglis-Arkell on at

The ever-entertaining American Chemical Society gives us a run down on what black is, how very little black we see as we go about our lives, and what it takes to make real black.


Black is the absence of light, but most of the time, the black we see is just the comparative absence of light. Our black clothes are shooting photons at our eyes. They’re just shooting relatively few photons compared to the material around them.

This video is great because it shows us that black probably should be thought of not as a colour, but as a photon trap. Then again, maybe we should start seeing individual colours, like red, yellow, and blue not as colors but as selective photon traps, which hoard some photons while only letting a specific shade of colour go through. [American Chemical Society]