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I have been thinking about superheroes lately and Iron Man seems to be the safest one. His suit allows him to practically be bulletproof.

In what fields did Tony Stark have to be an expert in to build the Iron Man suits (aside from being extremely rich and being an amazingly successful entrepreneur)?

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    I suppose it's possible that there's an explanation in the comics of exactly what fields Tony had to be skilled in to build this, but otherwise, I feel like this is a request for a real-world explanation of a fantastical element. – FuzzyBoots Sep 20 '15 at 13:02
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    @aideendoyle - /Sigh. Please don't use the comments box to answer off-topic questions. It just encourages people to ask them rather than improving the question. – Valorum Sep 20 '15 at 13:39
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    I had to think about it before I did it but due to the fact there is no real world technology that could replicate Tony Stark's work this is not a real world question. "Questions seeking scientific solutions or explanations are off-topic unless they relate directly to a cited work of fiction." The question might seem like a real world question but it fits the criteria for the very thing it's being put on hold for - it is a solution for a cited work of fiction and is not currently real world possible. /shrugs Seems on topic to me so I tried. – Aideen Doyle Sep 20 '15 at 13:56
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    Doesn't the question in fact "relate directly to a cited work of fiction"? If people interpret that rule to be saying that questions about real scientific solutions are never allowed, why do you think the rule includes that qualification? – Hypnosifl Sep 20 '15 at 14:13
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    He had to be an expert in the field of Combat Exosuits. – user31178 Sep 20 '15 at 17:10
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Off the top of my head (and relating the answer to the films, rather than the comics) there were a number of fields in which Tony Stark demonstrated outstanding knowledge

Engineering + Physics

Tony's arc reactor, the literal heart of the machine is a wonder of engineering, outputting a vast amount of electricity with no obvious source of fuel, potentially a form of fusion(?) and definitely containing plasma and magnetics.

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Alongside this, he creates a workable augmented suit of armour, something that the finest minds at DARPA have struggled with for a generation

Flight Dynamics and Rocketry

Let's not brush aside the fact that Tony's suit can fly on tiny little jets that have no evident source of fuel. The output from those much be absolutely fabulous to lift a suit weighing the best part of a metric ton

enter image description here

Oh, and the suit appears to have some sort of g-damping technology that allows him to slam into walls and not die.

Weapons design

The suit has built in weaponry including rockets, modified guns, heat-seeking trackers, etc etc. At the very minimum, Tony would have to have an expert knowledge in how to make, maintain and install these weapons in order to have not killed himself many times over

enter image description here

AI + Computing

Tony's suit contains a realtime AI. An AI. Let's think about that for a second. A fully functional, turing-compliant Artificial Intelligence lives in the memory of his suit and can, apparently communicate with him in total realtime, organising his diary, arranging comms with third parties, planning routes, determining strategy and keeping an eye on radar.

Of all of his inventions, this one is the most epic.

enter image description here

Metallurgy and Armour Design

The armour on the suit is, as you've pointed out, completely bulletproof and regularly takes hits from uber-powered weapons and energy beams. The fact that it doesn't even come off dented would suggest a knowledge of ultra-light, ultra-strong alloys.

Bionics, Life Sciences and Medical

Tony's suit appears to be able to read his mind, assess his health (in realtime) and provide medical assistance when required. At the very least, he must have a full working knowledge of Neuroscience, anatomy, physiology and trauma medicine in order to have accomplished the feats we see in the films.

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    Great answer to a less than stellar question, +1 – Rogue Jedi Sep 20 '15 at 16:34
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    "The fact that it doesn't even come off dented" Ehm.. – Lightness Races with Monica Sep 20 '15 at 19:12
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    Anyway, so, in short, Tony's a genius and a world authority on just about everything. – Lightness Races with Monica Sep 20 '15 at 19:12
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    If it weren't for the scene in the cave, I would offer the suggestion that he only needed to be an expert in AI, and then JARVIS could have designed the rest. – Steve V. Sep 20 '15 at 22:00
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    "when did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics"? tony:"last night" – user25857 Sep 20 '15 at 23:43

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