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"None of us, no matter what continent or island or ice cap, asked to be born in the first place, and that even somebody as old as I am, which is 80, only just got here."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Disruptor Tube (Disruptor Ray)  
  A device that interrupted the very bonds between atoms.  

Joe and Al, intrepid explorers of an unknown universe, are threatened by strange jelly beings. How will they escape?

Disruptor tubes in hand, the beleagured explorers advanced toward the passage... Simultaneously, Joe and Al pressed the triggers of their weapons. The long pale beams sprang out, impinging upon the heaving forms.

The disruptor rays had absolutely no effect upon these creatures. Matter was differently constituted here — earth forces were unable to break up these atoms.

All was lost!

...

In great waves the green terrors advanced. Desperately the men searched about for some opening, some gap through which to seek escape. There was none. Enringed, they stood at bay, defenseless, now that the disruptor tubes, potent weapons of destruction on earth, were useless.

From The Emperor of the Stars, by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat).
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Here’s what it was like in use:

"But you still haven't told me what method of attack you expect to use," objected Joe.

"All," was the prompt retort. "If I knew exactly the nature of the Emperor, I could specify. But as I don't, we'll use every available method, and trust to luck that one is the right one. We have our ray projectors, our atomic disruptors, our rocket bursts. One of these may be successful. Who knows?"

“"Now," Al shouted, and the great disruptor tube roared its electronic discharge. A section of the shell buckled and melted at the impact, but the quartz was too tremendously thick. It was not more than one quarter penetrated.”

“Al pumped the trigger of the disruptor tube in continuous bursts. All over the face of the great transparent sphere, the quartz shattered and pitted...

Compare to the disrupter ray (molecule disrupter) from The Silent Destroyer (1929) by Will Garth, the de-atomizing ray from Crashing Suns (1928) by Edmond Hamilton, the Bethé blasters from Cities in Flight (1957) by James Blish, the annihilator beam from Conquest of Gola (1931) by L.F. Stone, the Vortex Gun from One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Emperor of the Stars
  More Ideas and Technology by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat)
  Tech news articles related to The Emperor of the Stars
  Tech news articles related to works by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat)

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