There is a secret to designing an explosive device that penetrates heavy armor. More than a hundred years ago designers discovered a munitions device is more powerful when the explosive material is pressed into a concave shape on the open end of the casing, creating a cavity. When detonated, at just the right distance from the target, the force of a shaped charge can penetrate the thickest armor. When the cavity is covered by a copper or glass liner, the force from the explosive is much stronger. While in use for decades, the properties of this phenomenon were not fully understood. Pioneering work from the world-renowned Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory now allows the properties of the supersonic jet that escapes from lined shaped charges upon detonation to be accurately modeled. Detonation forces the liner to collapse inwardly with tremendous force, projecting a tightly focused jet of liner material with enormous energy.
Mirrors are used every day by nearly everyone. A reasonably accurate, inexpensive mirror can be made by simply silvering a plate of glass. Deliberate distortions can be made by forming the glass into shapes, such as fun-house mirrors that can make you appear shorter, taller, stout or slender.
You may have been reading about recent developments in metals technology from a diverse range of sources. Many of the exotic metal alloys being described are actually the same material being referred to by different names. For example, Liquidmetal Alloys, amorphous metal and metallic glass are basically synonyms for the same new class of metals which exhibit a non-crystalline atomic structure.