So guys, I was watching The Avengers (again), and I noticed that when Tony Stark arrives at the Stark Tower and blasts a repulsor beam at the Tesseract, it just bounces off the force-field and we hear JARVIS say "The barrier is pure energy. It's unbreachable".

Later on we see the World Security Council send a nuclear missile straight to New York. My question is would it have destroyed the Tesseract, or even broken the force field ? I know this is entirely up to speculation, but still I want to hear your opinions.

  • As with the very related question, I'll offer up that chances are that nobody really knew. The WSC likely picked their biggest, most powerful weapon and launched it hoping it would be enough.
    – phantom42
    May 12 '14 at 19:06
  • "You have a big gun, you're not the big gun."
    – Xantec
    May 12 '14 at 19:22
  • Not going to add to the list of answers, just this comment: The Infinity Stones (gems, Gauntlet while empowered) cannot be destroyed by any force less that that which made them. Since they were created by the One-Above-All (see references onsite) it is unlikely anyone could destroy them. When fully integrated with its partner stones, they are capable of erasing reality itself. Such devices, if they could have been destroyed in antiquity surely would have, just because of their combined capacity for complete annihilation of all that exists. May 12 '14 at 20:25
  • How's this primarily opinion-based?
    – user1027
    May 15 '14 at 1:08

Per Thor: The Dark World, and interviews related to it, the Tesseract is an Infinity Stone, a powerful relic older than the universe. Just as the Asgardians were unable to destroy the Aether (another Infinity Stone), they wouldn't be able to destroy the Tesseract. A measly human nuclear weapon would definitely not be able to destroy it.

However, it's unknown if it would pierce or break the force field. On one hand, it seems possible as the field was constructed by Selvig's device, so it likely has some finite upper limit on its durability (JARVIS' comment I take to mean that nothing The Avengers have could breach it, none of them had a nuke sitting around, so it was unbreachable to them). On the other hand, the field was powered by the Tesseract, so it potentially is as exceedingly durable as the Tesseract itself.

  • 1
    +1. It would at least have destroyed Stark Tower, though, so the wormhole might have closed (or maybe moved?) as Selvig's machine fell.
    – Nerrolken
    Mar 4 '15 at 20:49

Without even going into the whole backstory of the Tesseract or reciting it's lineage and origin. We have a direct, real-time, canon in universe analysis of the Tesseract's shield; performed by Jarvis after Iron Man tried to destroy it with his repulsors. A functional test if you will; Cause and effect/action reaction. The analysis concluded that the barrier/shield powered by the Tesseract itself couldn't be breached by any known force applied, including a nuclear explosion.

Considering that the Tesseract IS an energy source far beyond the technology of earth, and so powerful that even the highly advanced Asgardians put it under lock and key. It's clear that even the most powerful terrestrial explosion (simple energy release) could not have scratched the paint (shield barrier), much less destroy the Tesseract itself.

Jarvis, a top of the food chain supercomputer designed by one of the preeminent genius designers on the planet, concluded and flatly stated that the Tesseract's shield was "unbreachable". He didn't say; "It would take a nuclear blast to breach that shield", 'he' said "It's unbreachable".

Even though Jarvis has a voice interface and could pass the Turing Test, is still a supercomputer designed to analyze power sources (see Arc Reactor). His analysis of the barrier would include any and all means known to penetrate it and found none.

  • 2
    Pure speculation isn't really an answer.
    – Valorum
    May 12 '14 at 19:35
  • 1
    @Richard -Thanks for the comment but not the downvote:-) My answer is not based on 'pure' speculation but on known in-universe facts about the Tesseract and how nuclear explosions work. The energy from the Tesseract is far superior to the energy released by any nuclear explosion. A nuk wouldn't even breach the shield much less destroy the Tesseract (off the charts energy) itself.
    – Morgan
    May 12 '14 at 19:41
  • 3
    I'm yet to be convinced. Richard demands sourcing. Richard SMASH!
    – Valorum
    May 12 '14 at 19:45
  • 3
    Funny thing about analysis without actual testing - it's not necessarily correct.
    – phantom42
    May 12 '14 at 22:15
  • 2
    I believe Loki's staff breached the shielding around the Tesseract. It may have been designed to do exactly that, but that still means that some combination of matter and energy is sufficient to breach the shielding. I agree with the basic point though, Jarvis analyzed the test they did have (Iron Man's repulsors) and determined brute force would be unable to get through.
    – PeterL
    May 12 '14 at 22:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.