While it is still uncertain today if Tesla actually built one of these machines, he at very least developed the technology that would have made something like this possible. Tesla was not the first or the last to propose a machine of this sort, but he was the only one who had the science to back up his proposal. He developed a unique vacuum chamber with one end open to the atmosphere capable of directing a high-velocity air stream.
Although unconfirmed, it is rumored that in 1908 Tesla built a prototype of his death ray, and attempted to send a ray to the North Pole, but instead overshot and potentially caused a mysterious explosion in Tunguska, Siberia. After this explosion, one that miraculously killed no one, Tesla is said to have dismantled the machine, deeming it too dangerous for use.
Even though the death ray was never constructed, it still has an impressive legacy as it served as inspiration for many important inventions including radar and the charged-particle beam weapon developed by both the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war. Tesla’s death ray has also been credited as a precursor to laser technology, the atom bomb and the idea of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), and even President Regan’s “Star Wars” program which roughly proposed the use of laser technology to protect and defend the nation.
What do you think of the invention of a “death ray”? Do you think it is possible that something like this was ever created? If so, would it cause more problems than it would solve? Should Wilson have taken Tesla up on his offer and potentially changed the course of history? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!