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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Annihilator Beam  
  A deadly ray that literally dissolved matter!  

They were within their flyers, held by our combined wills, unable to act for themselves. It was then as easy for us to switch our zones of force upon them, subjugate them more securely and with the annihilator beams to disintegrate completely every ship and man into nothingness!
From The Conquest of Gola, by L.F. Stone.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Great name; the concept was used in Edmund Hamilton's 1928 novel Crashing Sun (see de-atomizer) and the disintegrator from Garrett P. Serviss' 1898 novel Edison's Conquest of Mars.

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