Enlarge / This is what this article is about. (credit: Knick Banas / Flickr)
Today, we are going to tackle a topic that every science journalist fears deeply: topological insulators.

But, fear not dear reader, once your head explodes, you’ll feel nothing.

And, besides, these aren’t any topological insulators, they’re topological insulator lasers, which definitely makes the pain worthwhile.
The question that should be foremost in your mind is: why would you combine the least-easily explained concept in physics with something so cool as lasers? And the answer is because it makes for a pretty good laser.
Before we get to how a topological insulator can improve a laser, let’s take a look at what makes a laser so difficult.
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