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|61108. Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:11 am
|Question: What did Nikola Tesla hope his “death-ray” would achieve.
Answer: World Peace.
Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest scientists in history, who is responsible for the AC system of electricity which is used in homes around the world. In 1943, soon after his 84th birthday, Tesla announced that he had discovered the principles of teleforce - a particle-beam death-ray which would be able to melt aeroplane motors at a distance of 250 miles.
Tesla had much more philanthropic ideas for his technology though, calling his idea a Peace Ray. He thought that a ray which could fell a plane from such prodigious distances would negate the point of aerial attacks, and thus lead to the end of warfare.
Tesla always claimed that he had in fact created his weapon, but there was no public display before his death in 1943, at which time the FBI seized the inventors papers, much to the interest of thousands of conspiracy theorists.
Tesla is not the only person in history that is thought by some to have created a death ray.
In 212BC the Romans attacked Syracuse, in modern-day Sicily, the home of the great mathematician and inventor Archimedes. According to Dio Cassius’ Roman History, Archimedes used a system of mirrors to focus the sun’s rays onto the roman ships to set fire to the fleet.
This story had been dismissed as myth by historians, it was thought that it would be impossible to create the heat necessary to burn a ship at such a distance, but last year, students at MIT proved that it was in fact possible after building their own death ray with 127 mirrored tiles and an oak replica of a Roman ship. So while it may still be untrue, at least it has been proved that the death ray is at least possible, it didn’t help Archimedes though, the Romans were supposed to protect him when Syracuse fell, but he was so busy trying to protect his work that he did not tell the soldier who broke into his house who he was, and he died in 212BC.
Compare Tesla's hopes for his death ray with Nobel's hopes for dynamite.
|"Perhaps my factories will put an end to war even sooner than your Congresses; on the day when two army corps will be able to annihilate each other in a second, all civilised nations will recoil with horror and disband their troops." |
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