Could this amazing material keep buildings cooler in the Sun?
A team of scientists have created a white paint that's so white, they say, that it reflects 95.5 percent of sunlight that reaches its surface.
Essentially, it's the exact opposite of Vantablack, the substance that makes objects appear so dark, by absorbing close to 100 percent of light that hits them, that it's as if you're staring into a black hole.
The team is hoping their invention could allow buildings to passively reflect most sunlight, thereby "rejecting heat." In other words, it could allow us to keep interiors nice and cool without running energy-gobbling air conditioners.
To create the paint, the team used calcium carbonate, an abundant resource, to minimize the amount of UV light being absorbed.
During tests, the paint was able to keep surfaces 10 degrees Celsius below ambient at night and more than 1.7 degrees Celsius at noon. Best of all: it's outdoor proof and brushes on like conventional paint.
"Our paint is compatible with the manufacturing process of commercial paint, and the cost may be comparable or even lower," Xiulin Ruan, a professor at Purdue University and co-author of a study about the paint published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science this week, said in a statement.
Radiative heat effects are particularly pronounced during the summer seasons in larger cities, where built-up areas turn into "heat islands."
"It is a persistent task to develop a below-ambient radiative cooling solution that offers a convenient single-layer particle-matrix paint form and high reliability," Ruan said.
"This is critical to the wide application of radiative cooling and to alleviate the global warming effect," he added.
It's not the first "heat rejecting paint" of its kind. Since the 1970s, scientists have been working on similar technologies as a way to passively cool surfaces, as Science Alert reports, with varying degrees of success.
READ MORE: You've Heard of Vantablack. Scientists Just Created 'Super White', And It's Very Cool [Science Alert]
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