What Is the Tachyon Prototype On 'The Flash'?

We're all used to seeing some pretty impressive tech come out of S.T.A.R. Labs, but during this week's mid-season finale of The Flash, fans were left to wonder why Harrison Wells really wants the tachyon prototype from Mercury Labs, the only device that is capable of trapping Reverse-Flash -- for those few minutes they were able to hold him, at least. The machine belongs to Mercury Labs scientist Tina McGee, a character fans of The Flash will recognize the name of from the popular series in the 1990s, only this time she wasn't in the mood to help Harrison Wells or Barry Allen when they asked to use her machine to bait Reverse-Flash. After some out-of-character blackmailing on Barry's part, they managed to secure the machine, which leads us to wonder: what exactly does Harrison want to do with the tachyon prototype?

The prototype itself doesn't have any history in The Flash comics, but its presence is fitting. Tachyons are hypothetical particles that can move faster than the speed of light, and although Barry hasn't quite gotten there yet, according to comic lore he will eventually train himself to that kind of speed. It's clear, though, that Reverse-Flash has already surpassed it, because of the ease it took him to escape from the prototype in the first place.

This in conjunction with the fact that Harrison obviously knew that the prototype wasn't going to hold Reverse-Flash, given his obvious association with Reverse-Flash at the end of the episode, can only lead us to believe that he has some ulterior motive for bringing the machine to S.T.A.R. Labs and he needed an excuse good enough to get it. If these hypothetical particles can move faster than the speed of light, are they the key to whatever connection Harrison has to the future? Or does he have some other ulterior motive for keeping the prototype close?

Images: Cate Cameron/The CW