Later in life, Tesla made remarkable claims concerning a "teleforce" weapon. The press called it a "peace ray" or death ray. In total,
the components and methods included:
An apparatus for producing manifestations of energy in free air instead of in a high vacuum as in the past. This, according to Tesla in 1934, was
A mechanism for generating tremendous electrical force. This, according to Tesla, was also accomplished.
A means of intensifying and amplifying the force developed by the second mechanism.
A new method for producing a tremendous electrical repelling force. This would be the projector, or gun, of the invention.
Tesla worked on plans for a directed-energy weapon from the early 1900s until his death. In 1937, Tesla composed a treatise entitled "The Art of
Projecting Concentrated Non-dispersive Energy through the Natural Media" concerning charged particle beams. Tesla published the document in an
attempt to expound on the technical description of a "superweapon that would put an end to all war". This treatise of the particle beam is currently
in the Nikola Tesla Museum archive in Belgrade. It described an open ended vacuum tube with a gas jet seal that allowed particles to exit, a method of
charging particles to millions of volts, and a method of creating and directing nondispersive particle streams (through electrostatic
His records indicate that it was based on a narrow stream of atomic clusters of liquid mercury or tungsten accelerated via high voltage (by means akin
to his magnifying transformer). Tesla gave the following description concerning the particle gun's operation:
[The nozzle would] send concentrated beams of particles through the free air, of such tremendous energy that they will bring down a fleet of 10,000
enemy airplanes at a distance of 200 miles from a defending nation's border and will cause armies to drop dead in their tracks.
The weapon could be used against ground based infantry or for antiaircraft purposes. Tesla tried to interest the US War Department in the
device. He also offered this invention to European countries.
82 "Tesla's Ray". Time, 23 July 1934.
83 "Tesla, at 78, Bares New 'Death-Beam"', New York Times, 11 July 1934.
84 "Tesla Invents Peace Ray". New York Sun, 10 July 1934.
85 "Death-Ray Machine Described", New York Sun, 11 July 1934.
86 "A Machine to End War". Feb. 1935.
87 Seifer, Marc J., "Wizard, the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla". ISBN (HC) p. 454
88 Seifer, "Wizard" p. 454
89 "Beam to Kill Army at 200 Miles, Tesla's Claim on 78th Birthday". New York Times, 11 July 1934.
90 "'Death Ray' for Planes". New York Times, 22 September 1940.
91 "Aerial Defense 'Death-Beam' Offered to U. S. By Tesla" 12 July 1940
92 O'Neill, John J., "Tesla Tries To Prevent World War II". (unpublished Chapter 34 of Prodigal Genius) (PBS)