The chemical xenon difluoride is normally a mild-mannered white powder, but when you crush it with the pressure of 1 million times our atmosphere, it turns into a super substance. Due to some weird science, all the energy used to crush that stuff is stored inside its chemical bonds, making it a terrific energy storage device. In layman's terms, that would be a battery.
Of course, it's not going to be easy to apply 1,000,000 atmospheres worth of pressure to this caustic and stinky powder that's normally used to etch circuits on silicon. To withstand that kind of pressure, you need a tiny 2-by-3-inch compartment lined with a couple of diamond anvils.
The result? A little metallic-looking brick that amounts to the most powerful non-nuclear energy storage device ever created. Now let's hope those scientists unleash that vast amount of energy for peaceful purposes, making this the most kick-ass battery in the world. Or will they just turn it into a bomb?
Either way, the scientists at Washington State's chemistry labs behind this discovery have a long way to go before this tech has a commercial application.