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"Another reason why privacy could be just a passing fad, terrorism is going to get too good. [1997]"
- Larry Niven

Disrupter Ray (Molecule Disrupter)  
  Atoms of materials no longer adhere to each other.  

As far as I know, this is the first instance of the disrupter ray.

This smaller machine is a molecule disrupter. It stops the activity of atoms and destroys their power of attracting one another and maintaining space between themselves. During a battle we cut huge slices out of the enemy craft until a vital spot is injured. Sometimes, if we catch an enemy ship unaware, we cut it completely in two before they can maneuver out of the danger.


('The Silent Destroyer' by Henrik Juve)

From The Silent Destroyer, by Henri Dahl Juve.
Published by Air Wonder Stories in 1929
Additional resources -

Can this technology fit into a hand-held device? Of course:

"All hands in the air."

The hands of the Occidental crew instantly reached upward and the visitor turned to see who had taken charge of the situation. He turned cold and froze in his tracks! With some twenty-five men at his back, each armed as was he, stood a man with a small molecule disrupter leveled at the exploring party!

Compare to the de-atomizing ray from Crashing Suns (1928) by Edmond Hamilton, the disrupter tube from The Emperor of the Stars (1931) by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat), the golden ray of synchronized vibrations from The Return of the Murians (1932) by Nat Schachner, 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 Silent Destroyer
  More Ideas and Technology by Henri Dahl Juve
  Tech news articles related to The Silent Destroyer
  Tech news articles related to works by Henri Dahl Juve

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