“So what’s it like being in a room that’s painted with the world’s blackest paint, that absorbs almost all the light in the room? Well, it’s almost like being in space where you can only be illuminated directly from the light source, not from any reflected light.”
James Orgill of The Action Lab YouTube channel explains: “We kind of take for granted in a normal room how much light is actually not coming from the light source.”
Orgill painted a small demonstration room in his garage with Musou Black, a synthetic resin paint that reportedly absorbs 99.4% of visible light. Like a Looney Tunes ACME black hole, the acrylic paint creates the illusion of an empty void. Orgill notes: “I only ran into the wall once!”
See the illusion that a lack of reflected light creates as Orgill first walks into the room; with no sense of the room’s dimensions, he appears to shrink as he gets farther away.
Another simple but impressive demonstration: When he tilts a white piece of cardboard away from a light bulb in the closed Musou Black room, the white disappears. It’s only when the board is bent to reflect light upon itself that it’s visible. The room’s wall paint does not reflect the light.
This is a follow-up to his Musou Black apple experiment. In that video, he compares famously black paints and creates small-scale version of the black room above.
Watch more videos about perception and light, plus:
• What is light? Royal Observatory Greenwich explains…
• On Light Pollution: The End of Darkness
• The 2017 Solar Eclipse from the shores of Palisades Reservoir, Idaho
• A Visual History of Light, animated
• Invisible Glass Rube Goldberg Machine
• The Moon Illusion
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