Re: Death Rays

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Oct 28 2000 - 15:46:11 MDT

Adrian Tymes wrote:
> 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.

Or for that matter, resurrect Project Thor (iirc). It was a proposal to
put up enough low orbit satellites to cover every point on earth about
every 40 minutes or so. Each satellite carried a lot of tapered iron
spears. When signaled appropriately it would drop some of the spears to
devasting effect on the ground. The spears might have enough elementary
guidance vanes and cheap systems to aim themselves slightly. Extremely
destructive of ground troops, equipment and even able to penetrate some
classes of hardened silos.


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