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The Tesla Rifle: It’s Here AND It’s Real!

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If you’re any kind of a geek, you know the name Nikola Tesla. A scientific genius with some 300 patents to his name, Tesla is frequently referred to as ‘The Father of The Twentieth Century’. His overwhelming interest was in the field of electricity and as a result of his work, we have a national energy grid. His concept was to transmit electricity through the air without the use of wires, a system he built and demonstrated successfully in Manhattan in 1895. A setback to his work happened in 1895 when his NYC lab was destroyed along with all of his notes and working models by a suspicious fire, commonly thought to have been the work of money men who did not want to see virtually free wireless delivery of electric power. But this didn’t stop Tesla. He went on to invent an electric car (built from a Pierce-Arrow with the gasoline motor removed) which reached speeds of 90mph in 1931. The power source? Allegedly, it was powered by pulling existing free power from ‘the ether’. Zero-point energy? We may never know.

What’s point of the history lesson? One of Nikola Tesla’s inventions is known as a Tesla Coil which when sufficiently energized, creates an arc of electricity that jumps from the coil to the nearest convenient earth. Umm, sorry… For you non-Brits, that would be ‘nearest convenient ground’. The Tesla Coil was the inspiration for every iteration of ray-guns in movies, novels and television shows from the spark spewing ray guns of the Buck Rogers serials to Star Trek phasers and disruptors to science fiction yet to be conceived. The stuff of Science Fiction? Perhaps at one time. But now, thanks to Rob Flickenger, a self-described ‘Mad Scientist’ from Seattle, Washington, the Tesla Rifle is a reality. Bugger all, but he looks pretty damn sexy in that lab coat. Smart and hot. But, he has a fiance, so let me put my hormones away and get back on topic here….

Rob got the idea from the graphic novel “The Five Fists of Science” in which Tesla is one of the Five Fists. In the novel, he invents the Tesla Rifle, which, admittedly is far more versatile and powerful than Rob’s creation, but with one important distinction. Rob actually built one!

I watched the video and read his blog that details his build process this morning and I, quite frankly, was seriously impressed. This is not a gimmick or a joke; this is the serious application of scientific fact in a way that would be considered by many as near impossible. Is this the long envisioned ray gun? Not really.

It has an effective range of 8 to 24 inches and as Rob puts it, at that point, a baseball bat makes a more deadly weapon. Rob doesn’t describe it as a weapon, but as a high tech toy. To me, none of that is relevant. What he has done, in my own point of view, is take what seems to be fantasy and turn it into reality. It reminds me of a professor I had at university who said “Science Fiction may best be described as Future History”. Ask yourself, what other seemingly impossible devices from Science Fiction may become real through the imagination of a brilliant mind? One thing is clear. We need more people like Rob Flickenger.

Love you all, Poppy xxxxxxx

All photos in this article are hosted on Flickr.com and are the sole property of Rob Flickenger.

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