New Transparent Aluminum Somewhat Shortlived

A brand new form of transparent aluminum has been created by Oxford University scientists with way too much free electricity. Professor Justin Wark (really, they should name something after this guy) is one of the authors of a recently published paper describing a new, exotic state of matter.

The discovery was made possible with the development of a new source of radiation that is ten billion times brighter than any synchrotron in the world (such as the UKs Diamond Light Source). 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.

The Oxford team, along with their international colleagues, 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 the aluminium turned transparent.

The FLASH laser knocked out a core electron from every aluminum atom in a sample, without disrupting the crystalline structure of the solid. Voila! Transparent aluminum.


(FLASH laser makes transparent aluminum)

Unfortunately, the effect is somewhat brief. As in 40 femtoseconds.

So, alas, Scotty must once again travel into the past to share the secret of real, lasting, whale-carrying transparent aluminum.


("Hello computer" - Scotty vs. primitive 20th century computers
From Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Here's a helpful list of stories that promised you transparent aluminum, but never quite gave you what you saw in Star Trek. See if you can tell which one is the April Fools story:

Via Physorg.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/28/2009)

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