Though the third installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Ant-Man series, took movie audiences on a wild journey to the Quantum Realm, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania made an existing plot hole worse. Unlike the previous two Ant-Man films, Doctor Strange, and Avengers: Endgame, which only featured a snippet of this tiny universe that exists outside of time and space, Quantumania finally explained the fullness and depth of the MCU’s Quantum Realm. Unfortunately, in showing movie-watchers such a world, Quantumania triples down on a plot hole that was set up in the first film when scientist Hank Pym explains how the Pym Particles function.


Introduced in 2015’s Ant-Man, Pym Particles give a person the ability to shrink to the size of an ant or smaller. Viewers learn that in 1987, Hank’s wife, Janet, used the Pym Particles to go subatomic so that she could disarm a Soviet missile headed for the United States. Janet’s actions left her stranded in the Quantum Realm for three decades until Hank inserted Pym Particles in a spacecraft to rescue her and bring them both back to Earth during the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp. Similarly, in the first film, Scott Lang employed the Pym Particles to defeat the villain Yellow Jacket, which thrust him into the Quantum Realm, albeit briefly.

Related:Ant-Man & The Wasp: How Janet Survived So Long In The Quantum Realm

Hank Pymn Explains How Pym Particles Work

michael douglas as hank pym in ant-man 3

A formula that can make someone small enough to visit an entirely different and strange universe is an imaginative and fascinating concept. In Ant-Man, Hank told Scott Lang how the Pym Particle works, saying, “Twenty years ago, I created a formula that altered atomic relative distance. I learned how to change the distance between atoms. That’s what powers the suit.” In Avengers: Endgame, Scott realized the Avengers could use many Pym Particles via their own power suits to become subatomic, and travel back in time to stop Thanos from committing galactic genocide. In the Ant-Man series, the Pym Particles are generally used to shrink someone, so they could have the powers of an insect. However, Hank and Scott use the formula to shrink large inanimate objects for personal convenience or to increase Scott to a gigantic size for certain heroics when necessary.

The MCU’s Pym Particle Explanation Makes Accessing The Quantum Realm Impossible

Antman and the wasp quantumania hank pym

While the MCU’s idea of a Pym Particle is a great plot device for a superhero film, Hank’s Pym Particle explanation is fantasy, thus entering the Quantum Realm would be impossible. Scientifically speaking, the only things smaller than an atom are the subatomic particles that make up an atom, which are protons, neutrons and electrons. If the space between atoms has been decreased, then someone would have to shrink to the size of a proton or even smaller, which is inconceivable.

Furthermore, shrinking to subatomic size would cause a person to lose oxygen and immediately die or starve to death because of the change in their metabolism. Technically, Hank, Scott, and family, would need breathing apparatuses and other devices to survive in the Quantum Realm. The functioning of the Pym Particle would be more aligned with the movie logic of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the MCU if Hank had said that he shrunk the atoms or developed ways for them to exist at a subatomic size.

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