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Xiulin Ruan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, shows off the paint that was declared the world's whitest by Guinness World Records. Photo courtesy of John Underwood/Purdue University

We all know the unusual Crayola color crayon types: Periwinkle (light gray), Cornflower (light blue), Purple Mountain’s Majesty (light purple), etc. Researchers at Purdue University are pleased to add a new “Crayola color” to the mix as they have created what Guinness World Records considered the be the “whitest paint” ever created.

The head researcher, Xiulin Ruan, explained that their purpose was “to create a paint that would reflect sunlight from a building and thereby lower energy usage as a means of fighting climate change”. While white colors are meant to reflect sunlight, the sun may be too harsh, especially with the increase in global warming. This is especially the case when reflected from dark buildings which give off air pollution.

The paint itself uses barium sulphate particles which, according to scientist Ben Hooper, reflects 98.1% of solar radiation. This not only fights the climate crisis, but the white paint is cold to the touch. While the barium sulphate was responsible for it’s white color property, the greater particle sizes is what enabled the paint to reflect sunlight so reliably.

While the color itself is not yet named, this shade of white was declared by Guinness World Records to be the “whitest” white available, being able to reflect sunlight at “unprecedented” levels. Furthermore, Perdue university recommends using this shade of white when marketing products in 2022. Whether society chooses to adapt this shade of white is unknown. Nontheless, this creation by Ruan will be featured in the 2022 edition of Guinness Book of World Records.

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