Using an absurdly powerful laser, the researchers etched fine patterns into the metal, which trap air. By sandwiching two of these pieces of metal together with etched sides facing in, yet leaving a gap in between, they can capture a bubble of air in the center. Drop the sandwich in a tank of water and it does something very unbecoming of metals: It floats no matter what. Even when the researchers forced the device to the bottom of the tank and held it there for months, it still surfaced when they let it.
One day the technique could make for safer ships, or perhaps even life jackets. But for now, take a look at the video above to see the wundermaterial in action.
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