While carbon provides the basis for all of organic chemistry and biology, elemental carbon compounds themselves play vital roles in our world. Graphite, diamond, fullerenes, graphene, and amorphous carbon solids are used in myriad modern applications, and a number of new, metastable states of carbon with unusual and promising properties have recently been proposed and created. Furthermore, liquid carbon and warm dense carbon are of astrophysical interest, and been proposed to exist in the cores of large planets and stars (Ross, 1981) . While much is known about the solid forms of carbon, its liquid state remains very poorly understood. Due to difficulties in preparing and studying this material, its structure and properties remain essentially unknown. In this review, we describe recent technological advances which have enabled new experiments on liquid carbon samples, prepared with laser melting and shock compression techniques.