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"If you don't care about science enough to be interested in it on its own, you shouldn't try to write hard science fiction."
- Frederik Pohl

Black Coating  
  A material that absorbs practically all incident light.  

One good way to be invisible in space is to be non-reflective.

“Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive, and I don’t need ports or windows. At that, though, one percent reflection would be enough to give me away at a critical time. How’d it be to put a couple of the boys on that job? Have them put a decimal point after the ninety nine and see how many nines they can tack on behind it?”
From Gray Lensman, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1942
Additional resources -

Compare to absolute black from Douglas Adams' 1980 book Restaurant at the End of the Universe and fuligin from Gene Wolfe's 1980 novel The Shadow of the Torturer.

Thanks to Winchell Chung (@nyrath at Project Rho) for submitting this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Gray Lensman
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Gray Lensman
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Black Coating-related news articles:
  - Femtosecond Laser Pulse Turns Metals Pitch Black
  - Carbon Nanotube Blackness Blacker Than Black
  - New Black From NASA Uses Nanotubes
  - Blacker-Than-Black Corrugated Metamaterials
  - NASA's Super-Black Now Even Blacker
  - Army Wants Black Blacker Than Black
  - Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
  - Blackest Black? New Disordered Nanostructured Material
  - Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black

Articles related to Material
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
New Paper - Write With Light Erase With Heat

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