The problem has been that masers require extreme conditions in order to work. Most of them amplify microwaves by using hard crystals, often rubies. The devices also need powerful magnetic fields as well as ultra-low pressures, which requires vacuum chambers and pumps, or super-cold temperatures, aided by special refrigerants that can approach absolute zero. This new maser, designed at the National Physical Laboratory in the UK and Imperial College London, doesn't need those extreme conditions. Instead of a ruby, which only works at extremely cold temperatures, this one uses something called p-terphenyl, which needs to be doped with pentacene. It can complete the same masing-amplification process as a ruby. The pentacene also happens to turn the colorless crystal a brilliant pink color, which the NPL news release could not help but point out. Because then it looks like a ruby!