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Transparent aluminium, a sci-fi material brought to 20th century Earth by the crew of The Enterprise in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, turns out to exist after all - if you see in X-rays.
To create this exotic state of matter, researchers at the FLASH facility in Hamburg, Germany, took a thin piece of aluminium foil and blasted it with an X-ray laser that can generate about 10 million gigawatts of power per square centimetre.
Scientists in the US have developed a novel technique to make bulk quantities of glass from alumina for the first time. ...
However, as the researchers found, element sodium does just the opposite. A perfect white metal at atmospheric pressure, on increasing pressure sodium first turns black, then (at the pressure of 2 million atmospheres) red transparent, and eventually becomes a colorless transparent material – just like glass.