# How do the nanites fit?

In Infinity War, Tony Stark has a nanite suit, which fits in a casing which is not much larger than his old Arc Reactor. While in Black Panther it makes sense that his suit fits in the necklace, since he wears a thin, skin tight suit; there is no way that all of the nanites for a suit that large fit in that casing. How did they fit?

(I know in the comics he stores them in the hollows of his bones, but there is no mention of that in the movie.)

• Because they make a suit which is thin Aug 21 '18 at 19:27
• If you look closly its clear that "tony's" normal clothes are also nanites, meaning that they can also add to the mass of the suit. It's also likely that the suit tony wears is somewhat "spongey" with gaps between the nanites whereas the container probably has optimal packing Aug 21 '18 at 19:48
• Sorry, Tony's "normal clothes" the fact that that was tony is in no doubt Aug 21 '18 at 20:02
• “there is no way that all of the nanites for a suit that large fit in that casing” — you may be missing the fact that the nanites are a) really small, and b) fictional. Aug 21 '18 at 22:27
• i know they are fictional, the question is within the story Aug 22 '18 at 10:44

Keep in mind that most of the volume of any given material (even a solid) is empty space. There's a ton of empty space between molecules, and between the atoms in molecules. So it could be that the nanites are just closer together when they're being transported compared to when they're forming a suit or weapon.

Think about how a balloon works. I could take a balloon out of my pocket and blow it up so it's much larger than the pocket. Or I could take a bunch of small balloons and combine them into a larger balloon animal. The nanites could be doing something very similar, forming a mostly hollow shape from a relatively small volume of materials.

Similarly, think about a bucket of paint. You can paint an entire room with just one bucket of paint, even though the room is larger than the bucket. Again, the nanites are like paint, or more like ink for a 3D printer.

It all comes down to surface area and volume.

• I'm intrigued as to whether your pocket is actually full of balloons or whether you're just giving a hypothetical answer :-) Aug 21 '18 at 23:16
• (1/2) I am not sure for the comparison with the paint. A room is larger than a bucket, but you don't paint the whole room. What you do is to put a very thin layer of paint on the wall. The volume does not change. Basically, the paint on one wall is a rectangular box (assuming the paint has been applied uniformly), so its volume is given by Area x Height. A very small Height means you can cover a large area. The comparison would hold if the paint in the bucket was under higher pressure I guess. Aug 22 '18 at 0:20
• (2/2) I like the first paragraph though, as it may connect to how Antman's Pym particules act. Aug 22 '18 at 0:20
• @Taladris Surrounding a room with paint (by painting all 4 walls, for sake of argument also the ceiling and floor) is conceptually the same thing as surrounding a person with armor. Aug 22 '18 at 1:18