Re: Death Rays

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Oct 27 2000 - 21:52:43 MDT

Alex Heard wrote:
> I'd survey the concept from sci-fi origins to reputed attempts to build one - by Nikola Tesla, for example. For this to work, though, I'd need to do two things that ground this more in reality than sci-fi: find out if the US government (or any government) ever spent much time researching the concept. (Presumably it came up in the Star Wars context.) And figure out, by talking to scientists now, if it would be possible to build a "good" death ray today, if we only had the will!

As I recall from "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" - I plan to order a
copy from Amazon soon, but I don't have one on hand - during the last days of
the Third Reich, someone started a rumor, either in the US military or on Nazi
propaganda broadcasts or both, to the effect that Hitler and a band of German
scientists were going to retreat to a mountain fortress and that they had some
type of superweapon, which I believe was a death ray. I'm sorry that I can't
provide more information from memory, but maybe someone else on this list
knows more.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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