Please keep Anish Kapoor away from the whitest white paint

Please keep Anish Kapoor away from the whitest white paint


Xiulin Ruan, one of the researchers who made the whitest white paint, holding up a sample. | Photo by Jared Pike / Purdue University

Researchers at Purdue University say they have created the whitest paint on record. In fact, they’ve now crafted an ultra-white paint twice: in October, they announced a white paint that was capable of reflecting 95.5 percent of sunlight. But they decided to outdo themselves with a new formulation, announced today, that reflects up to 98.1 percent of sunlight.

The thing about a very white paint is that, along with reflecting light, it also rejects heat. As any goth who has spent the day on the beach knows, black absorbs light and will heat up. The hope with an ultra-white paint is that it could be used on buildings to keep them cooler without air conditioning.

The science of the paint comes down to a high concentration of barium…

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