In Ant-Man, we're introduced to Pym particles

and a few knock-off versions of Pym particles

, which when they're exposed to matter, cause the matter to shrink in size. Yet obviously they're stored in a manner that prevents this shrinkage from occurring.

But we see them sprayed onto animals, dropped from a pipette, and used in weapons.

And in each of those uses, only the target object gets shrunk. So how do the Pym particle storage and delivery systems avoid being shrunk?

  • This is a reimagining of an age-old problem. People have speculated for centuries about a universal solvent (something that dissolves anything it comes into contact with), and what you would store it in. Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 4:51
  • -1 Honestly, I am just going to downvote questions from now on that are totally and entirely absurd. Anybody with even an ounce of common sense will understand that some amount of suspension of disbelieve is necessary for superpowers. Asking about some random impossible consequence of a random impossibility that is necessary for the superpower is totally absurd and useless. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 8:39
  • (Why btw does it say the question was modified by Community, but I can't see any edits or anything :S) Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 8:42
  • @DavidMulder Community will periodically bump old questions which haven't had much attention or answers, to give them a second chance at front page attention/answers.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


We have two options:

  1. The containers are made of something that cannot be shrunk. Similar to how acid can be safely stored in glass. Its passive and doesn't require any other external resources like a battery [Very likely]

  2. An extremely powerful magnetic field is used to hold the particles in a vacuum away from the edges of the container. Similar to how antimatter is contained. This would require a fair amount of power [Less likely]

  • 2
    But, but, but... the (transparent) vials of Pym particles appear to be loaded into the suit as is, and when the suit shrinks, they shrink too. That would seem to rule out #1.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 12:01
  • 3
    Alright, magnetic giggery-pokery it is so Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 12:28
  • 1
    Perhaps it's more like explosives, where both explosive and detonator are required to actually trigger the (explosion, shrinkage). Alas the detonator never makes it onto the mantel...
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 12:30
  • 1
    Maybe the glass containers already shrank once it touched the particle...
    – PiousVenom
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 13:01
  • 3
    I favour the "detonator" explanation: The particle can potentially cause shrinkage, but only does so when stimulated in a particular fashion. Which could explain why the suit has a "regulator..." Kinda. Sorta. Maybe.
    – user867
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 1:48

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