Re: Death Rays

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sat Oct 28 2000 - 13:16:45 MDT

Alex Heard wrote:
> I'm doing research for a possible story on "death rays." What I have
> in mind would be sort of funny but also reported, asking the question:
> Why is it exactly that we don't have a Death Ray?

Define "Death Ray". Would the neutron bomb, supposedly capable of
wiping out all life in an area while leaving buildings and other
infrastructure intact, count? Or perhaps you mean something that
disentigrates all matter in its path, and/or with a lot more precision
than an area effect bomb.

> You'd think that
> with all our scientific capabilities, we could easily produce a big
> futuristic gizmo that could zap soldiers into smoking piles of ash.

The US military is testing anti-missile lasers, whose power sources are
large enough to take up most of a large jet. If they can destroy
missiles, their effect on unarmored infantry would probably be similar
to what you're looking for...but this would be like swatting flies with
a sledgehammer. Why bother with an expensive death ray when some
bullets would render the enemy just as dead? Similar logic applies to
antivehicular weaponry.

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