PhysOrg brings back memories of Star Trek IV (the time-traveling whale one) with the revelation of a new state of matter – transparent aluminum:
‘What we have created is a completely new state of matter nobody has seen before,’ said Professor Justin Wark of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, one of the authors of the paper. ‘Transparent aluminium is just the start. The physical properties of the matter we are creating are relevant to the conditions inside large planets, and we also hope that by studying it we can gain a greater understanding of what is going on during the creation of ‘miniature stars’ created by high-power laser implosions, which may one day allow the power of nuclear fusion to be harnessed here on Earth.’
…The FLASH laser, based in Hamburg, Germany, produces extremely brief pulses of soft X-ray light, each of which is more powerful than the output of a power plant that provides electricity to a whole city.