Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nikola’s Death Ray Mystery

Thomas Edison gets all the credit as the father of electricity, but the real credit should go to a man named Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) born as an ethnic Serb in the village of Smiljan, Croatian Military Frontier in Austrian Empire (now Croatia). He was a subject of the Austrian Empire by birth and later became an American citizen. He was an inventor and also one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Aside from his work on electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering, Tesla contributed in varying degrees to the establishment of robotics, remote control, radar and computer science, and to the expansion of ballistics,   nuclear physics and theoretical physics.

Most scholars acknowledge that Tesla’s obscurity is partially due to his eccentric ways and fantastic claims during the waning years of his life, of communicating with other planets and death rays. Many of these fantastic inventions of Tesla are scientifically accurate and workable. It has simply taken mankind this long to catch up to the astonishing ideas of a man who died in 1943. It is now known that various governments were extremely interested in Tesla’s ideas for weapons and limitless energy. So much so that after his death, the U.S. military confiscated boxes full of Tesla’s research and writings. Much of this material has never been revealed to the public. What is not so widely known is that Tesla often suffered from financial difficulties, forcing him to move from hotel to hotel as his debt increased? Many times Tesla had to move, leaving crates of his belongings behind.

Tesla made statements during his lifetime that he had invented a Death Ray, which would be of benefit to warfare. According to Tesla the ray was capable of destroying up to 10,000 enemy aircraft at a distance of 250 miles away! Tesla’s Death Ray was featured in the July 23, 1934 issue of Times Magazine, which stated that Nikola Tesla had announced a combination of four weapons that would make war ‘unthinkable’. The article went on to describe how the weapons would work: “the nucleus of the idea is a death beam of submicroscopic particles flying at velocities approaching that of light”.

This may sound like a fantasy, but it may surprise the reader to learn that we use Tesla’s Particle beam everyday in the modern world. Particle beams are simply light beams, constructed of a special combination of electromagnetic waves. Unlike naturally occurring light the waves in a particle beam are very special, because they all end at the same point, creating a sort of imaginary ‘knife edge’ of light waves. Particle beams are utilized in hospitals in delicate micro-laser surgeries such as brain surgeries or cauterization within deep tissue, to determine distance, cut diamonds or guide missiles. So the question arises about Nikola’s Death Ray invention – the source of the mystery.

After the death of Nikola Tesla, when the room in which he passed was searched, the papers had disappeared. All traces of the papers he claimed to have written on the subject vanished. In 1947 the military intelligence service identified the papers as extremely important, but no one has claimed possession of them or knowledge of their whereabouts. There are a number of people who suggest that the documents remain unfound that they were never lost in the first place. But, it has not been able to complete the work Tesla begun. Another reasonable theory would be that someone close to Tesla might have taken them to prevent the creation of such a weapon of mass destruction.

Whatever became of Tesla’s brilliant invention, were it to surface now in any form it would likely be used to devastating effect. Already we have seen evidence by the invention of nuclear power. If it is truly lost, then perhaps we are better off without it.

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