Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminium by bombarding the metal with the world’s most powerful soft X-ray laser. 'Transparent aluminium' previously only existed in science fiction, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with important implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion.
Now you can have a window that won’t break.The future has arrived. Sort of. Pretty much.
All that work pays off. AlON can do amazing things. Here, for instance, a 1.6″ thick AlON plate successfully resists a huge, powerful .50 AP bullet that smashes easily through more than twice that thickness of conventional laminated glass armor, with plenty of energy left over to extremely kill a plastic mannequin head. It’s expensive, of course, and so generally reserved for high-performance applications, especially in military fields.