He was to medical optics what Nikola Tesla was to physics.
In 1913, industrial tycoon Henry Timken of the Timken Roller Bearing Company in Canton, Ohio, sought Rife’s help to solve a manufacturing problem. The solution was a scanning machine that could evaluate the quality of the steel used in the company’s roller bearings before going into production.
The scanner improved the quality of the company’s products and streamlined production to such a degree that Timken was overjoyed. When he learned that Rife’s passion was medical imaging, Timken gave him his full financial support and set him up at the family’s estate in San Diego to create his personal lab. No expense was too great and nothing was held back.
Rife’s previous work had led him to believe that microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) were at the root of all disease.
To prove his theory, he had to see these pathogens in their live state during his experiments, some of which were so small, particularly viruses, that no imaging equipment existed that could come close to viewing them.
That wasn’t a stumbling block to Rife. As a mechanical engineer and microscopy expert, he built a microscope that could magnify 60,000 times, and the superior magnification was equaled by its resolution.
The microorganisms Rife was viewing were so infinitesimally small that the atoms in the chemical stain normally used to expose microorganisms would have obscured them. Instead Rife’s microscope used monochromatic light that caused the organism to fluoresce. Rife could identify the virus he was observing by the color it refracted.
Years later in 1944, both the Journal of the Franklin Institute for Scientific and Mechanical Arts and The Smithsonian featured the Rife Universal Microscope alongside the newly created electron microscope in articles on emerging technology in optics. In The Smithsonian article entitled “The New Microscopes,” three micrographs from the Rife Universal Microscope were printed. The resolution of those images was unmatched by any existing technology, including the electron microscope. In fact they’re still unmatched even by today’s technology.
What’s more, those images were taken ten years prior by Rife in 1934.
Rife discovered that a simple electromagnetic wave wasn’t enough to destroy a microorganism. Instead he found a radio frequency wave was readily accepted by the body if it was emitted by a gas within a glass tube.