After working on the wired transmission of alternating current, Tesla studied – at least since 1894 – solutions for the wireless transmission of information and energy. In particular, he experimented cathode rays and discovered a new form of radiation that would later be known as ‘X-rays’. Tesla succeeded in transmitting these rays a few meters away, marking the beginning of his research in this field. And he was one of the first, if not the first, to warn of the risks associated with exposure to X-rays.
Noting the scattering of X-rays, he studied other solutions, first in his New York laboratory and then in Colorado Springs, where he succeeded in lighting up light bulbs several miles away.
During the First World War, Tesla discussed the possibility of using wireless energy transmission as a weapon. Initially, he thought that the power of this weapon would guarantee peace through a sort of balance of terror and named this invention the “Peace Ray“, but journalists would probably consider it more appropriate to speak of a “Death Ray“.
As the Second World War approached, Tesla had no illusions about the destructiveness of human beings, but with the rise of Nazism, he evoked a more elaborate version of his weapon and tried, unsuccessfully, to convince the United States and the United Kingdom to adopt it.
Due to lack of support, Nikola Tesla was not able to make a sufficiently elaborate version of his weapon, he just made the calculations and plans; however he did invent different versions of the ‘Death Ray’.