In Ant-Man,

Scott Lang shrinks down to the quantum level, yet we see his clearly defined body floating around amidst a bunch of semi-formless quantum stuff.

Why doesn't Ant-Man himself dissolve into formlessness?

Hank Pym seems to indicate that there is some explanation when he tells Lang that.

Everything and everyone you ever loved will dissolve into oblivion in the quantum realm. ... Implying that the wearer of the suit will retain his form while everything else looses form.

So what is it that enables him to retain his form at the quantum level?

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    Handwavium, the mysterious element that means the previously established science no longer applies. In all seriousness, from what Pym says about Pym Particles, it shouldn't be possible. Aug 3, 2015 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


I've posted another answer which covers much the same topic of the science seen in Ant-Man.

The given in universe explanation for how the Ant-Man suit works (that the distance between atoms is reduced, meaning objects get smaller but retain the same mass) is pure nonsense from the demonstrations of it that we have seen, including the fact that it can shrink down as far as seen in the movie, getting smaller than atoms.

However, an in-universe explanation could be that Hank Pym simply lied to Scott (or is incorrect) about how the Pym Particles work - it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to imagine that he over simplified the science of the Pym Particles in order to explain the concept to a layman such as Scott Lang, who although smart, almost certainly lacks the ability to comprehend the near-magical science created by Hank Pym, who is potentially the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.

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    @CodeMed I don't see how Electrical Engineering would make you capable of understanding the no doubt complex physics and chemistry of the Pym Particles. Aug 3, 2015 at 7:57
  • @CodeMed Even then, Hank Pym is potentially the smartest human beings we have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Scott Lang may be intelligent, but he isn't Hank Pym levels of genius. Aug 3, 2015 at 8:47
  • No, The Hulk is clearly the smartest person in the Marvel universe.
    – Gaius
    Aug 3, 2015 at 11:21
  • @Gaius This incredible answer from @Thaddeus goes into detail about Hank Pym in the comics, as well as his status as the Scientist Supereme. You'll notice that his points of reference for people who could also be Scientist Supreme are Reed Richards (who is smarter, but doesn't exist in the MCU) and Tony Stark (who is smart in very different ways). Bruce Banner isn't even mentioned as a candidate. Aug 3, 2015 at 11:30
  • I didn't say Bruce Banner :-)
    – Gaius
    Aug 3, 2015 at 14:01

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