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Thread: The least reflective color?

  1. #1 The least reflective color? 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    I'm not sure this belongs here or not.

    So what is the least reflective color? Is it black? If so then why. I seen on the discovery channel a while back that the engineers of the stealth planes wanted to paint them a dark purple instead of black. They said it was the hardest to see. They of course didn't out of respect for the pilots.

    Why is black the least reflective, what are the dynamics of photons interacting with the surfaces to produce this blackness? Does the light fail to return back at a direct angle, or is it absorbed?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Color is the visible result of one of the properties of an object, namely, light absortion. The color consists out of a spectrum of colors, and some objects absorb different amounts out of the spectrum. (where does all that energy go? Well, stuff you leave out in the sun gets hot, or can in other ways 'utilise' the gained energy)

    Black is the result when all of the (visible) light is absorbed. Meaning, that the least reflective color is a black that absorbs infrared and ultraviolet as well.

    The color dark purple probably has more to do with the color of the sky than anything else.

    Mr U


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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior superluminal's Avatar
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    Totally agree with HomoU. The question, however, should be "what are the properties of the least reflective surface" right? A totally black surface reflects none if the incident light in the visible range, and therefore has no "color".
    Huh?
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  5. #4  
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    Black. The answer is black. Black is the least reflective color. Black.
    "Consider the daffodil. And while your doing that, I'll be over here, going through your stuff."
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  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore spidergoat's Avatar
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    Definately black.

    An associate of my friend who was a NIST scientist created the blackest surface coating - ever. In magnification, it looked like very steep peaks and valleys.

    A quick google search shows several articles about British scientists inventing this, but I believe Chris Johnson invented it first. The process involves etching nickel with a particular grain structure with acid.

    Johnson, Christian E.
    Ultra-black coatings
    christian.johnson@nist.gov
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  7. #6  
    Forum Sophomore Elbethil's Avatar
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    Agreed that it's black.

    Furthermore, just thought I'd pitch in that there's two definitions of the colour "black": the absence of all colours of light; and an exhaustive mix of multiple colours.
    "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elbethil
    Agreed that it's black.

    Furthermore, just thought I'd pitch in that there's two definitions of the colour "black": the absence of all colours of light; and an exhaustive mix of multiple colours.
    I believe an exhaustive mix of all colors would be white.

    You get black paint when you mix together multiple colors of paint because each color of paint absorbs certain wavelengths, and when you mix enough of them all wavelengths are being absorbed.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Junior superluminal's Avatar
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    Guys,

    Black is not a color. It is the absence of color. Visible color is the result of photons of wavelengths from red to violet striking your eye. If no photons are reflected from a surface, it appears black.

    White light is a uniform distribution of photons of all colors, from red to violet. The spectrum of white light is a rainbow. Remember highschool science class?

    Scifor Refugee is correct. There are emission spectra and absorption spectra.
    Huh?
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