Researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor have used a high-resolution femtosecond laser that delivers trillions of watts to observe how and when electrons and atoms configure themselves in superdense environments. The work could lead to insights into fusion and a better understanding of phenomena such as white and brown dwarf stars. The research, performed by Don Umtadter and his colleagues, was described in the May 18 issue of Physical Review Letters. The findings could verify early predictions of the behavior of atoms in these conditions. Previously, theorists have suggested that electrons in superdense plasma exist in a free-for-all state and are unassociated with any particular nuclei.