The velvet background on a painting of Elvis looks black because it reflects so little light. But getting a surface to reflect no light at all is surprisingly difficult. Now, researchers have created a virtually reflectionfree surface by coating it with filaments only a few billionths of a meter thick.
Improved antireflective surfaces might have many uses. For example, they could eliminate light-wasting reflections in fiber-optic telecommunications, or the surfaces could brighten low-power light-emitting diode (L