death ray or death beam, a theoretical particle beam or electromagnetic weapon during the 1920s till the 1930s, was claimed to have been independently invented by Edwin R. Scott, Graichen, Guglielmo Marcone, Nikola Tesla and Harry Grindell Matthews together with several others.
The National Inventors Council, in 1957 were issuing list of needed military inventions which included a death ray. Based on fiction and inspired by past speculation, research into energy based weapons, gave rise to the contribution of real life weapons in use by modern militaries which was at times called a kind of `death ray’, such as the United States Navy and its `Laser Weapon System’ –LaWS, which were deployed in mid-2014 and these armaments were technically known as - directed energy weapons.
Tesla inherited a deep hatred of war from his father and all through his life he thought of a technological way to put an end to warfare. He was of the opinion that war could be converted into a `mere spectacle of machines’.
He informed reporters at a press conference in 1931 that he was on the way of discovering a new source of energy and when asked to explain the nature of the power, he informed that `the idea first came up as a tremendous shock and at that point of time he could only state that it would come from an entirely new and unsuspected source’.
Death Beam/Teleforce – Invented in 1930
Nikola Tesla is said to have invented in the 1930s, a `death beam’, which was called teleforce. He explained that `this invention does not contemplate the use of the so-called `death rays’ and the rays are not applicable since they cannot be produced in required quantities which tends to diminish quickly in intensity with distance.
All energy of New York City transformed into rays projecting twenty miles could not kill a human being since according to the well-known law of physics; it could disperse to an extent so as to be ineffectual. The apparatus projects particles which could be comparatively large or of microscopic dimensions with provision to convey to a small area at great distance trillions of times additional energy was possible with rays of any type.
Thus thousands of horsepower can be transmitted by stream which could be thinner than hair so that nothing can resist’.He proposed that a nation could destroy any object approaching within 200 miles and could provide a wall of power to make any country whether big or small, impregnable against armies, airplanes or any other means of attack.
The mechanism of Tesla’s death ray is not comprehended well and was apparently a kind of particle accelerator. According to Tesla it was an outgrowth of his magnifying transformer with its focus on energy output in a thin beam was so concentrated, that it could not scatter even over large distances.
Tesla promoted this device purely as a defensive weapon with intentions to knock down incoming attacks, making it the greatest grandfather of the Strategic Defence Initiative. Though the concept of a death ray was never put into action, it somehow fuelled science fiction stories which lead to the science fiction concept of the hand held ray gun that are used by fictional heroes like Flash Gordon. Other similar weapons are also found in George Lucas’ science fiction saga like `Star Wars’.
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