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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Conversion Gun  
  The ray converts the heat in an object to light.  

Ranson turned and dropped to the deck. The blast from the conversion gun passed above him, struck a girder with a blinding flash of light.

A chill like a breeze from an iceberg gripped Ranson. The conversion gun's rays transformed all heat, in any object they struck, to light. Had the beam struck him, he would have been frozen stiff in an instant...

The hiss of the conversion gun had been drowned out by the torrid multiphone music, and its flash had apparently gone unnoticed.

From Hell Ship of Space, by Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr..
Published by Amazing Stories in 1940
Additional resources -

Compare to the blue ray of death from Across Space (1926) by Edmond Hamilton and the demagnitizing ray from The Lord of Labour (1911) by George Griffith.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Hell Ship of Space
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr.
  Tech news articles related to Hell Ship of Space
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr.

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