An exotic new state of matter – Transparent aluminium. 

Yup, you heard it right! And No! this is not a star trek reference

Oxford scientists in 2009 bombarded aluminium with the most powerful soft X-ray laser. They focused all this power down into a spot with a diameter less than a twentieth of the width of a human hair. At such high intensities, aluminium turned transparent.

The invisible effect lasted for only an extremely brief period of time- an estimated 40 femto-seconds. But hey! The existence of such an exotic state of matter per se, opens up new frontiers for pristine research and technology. As Albert Einstein rightly said:

The process of a scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.


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