During his training as the Ant-Man we can see Scott working on the electronics of his suit, specifically some kind of regulator, much to Hank's dismay, and a dialogue similar to the following ensues:

Scott: You know, I think that regulator is holding me back.
Hank: Hands off that regulator. If you damage this regulator you end up in sub-atomic space... Scott: Ok, well, I'll be careful.

And then nearing the end of the movie he has to disable the regulator to get small enough for intruding and destroying the Yellowjacket, which indeed makes him end up in the quantum realm. His enlargement button doesn't seem to work anymore. But then he remembers Hanks words of warning, grabs some object and puts it into his regulator which causes his enlargement button to work again and embiggens him back into the macro world.

But this scene wasn't really explained that much, or I'm just missing something. What exactly did he do there and does it have something to do with his tampering with the regulator earlier (since his comment to Hank didn't sound like he intended to keep his hands off that thing)? Seeing that it seemed impossible even to Hank that anything could return from the quantum realm, it looked rather easy for Scott to just get back again. So did he figure this out himself or was it afterall not that hard to return from the quantum realm at all?

2 Answers 2


Scott puts one of the "Pym Particles Discs" into the regulator, which gives the suit an extra boot, and is able to bring Scott out of the quantum realm.

Blue Discs - Contains a unique form of Pym Particles different from those that power the Ant-Man Suit; allowing them to enlarge their target by expanding the distance between its atoms and supplying extra mass for stabilization. After plunging into the quantum realm, Scott was able to reverse the effect by inserting a Blue Disc into Suit's regulator and releasing the enlarging Pym Particles directly into the suit.

enter image description here

  • So he didn't do anything to the regulator then?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 31, 2015 at 20:20
  • I can't find any evidence that he did, so I would say no.
    – onewho
    Jul 31, 2015 at 20:20
  • @TomCody He didn't do anything to his regulator; he just activated the "Blue Disc" in the regulator. Recall that it was his daughter that made him to think otherwise he would have been alone and forgotten everything about his existence. He even has forgotten everything about it after it happened.
    – Afghan
    Aug 1, 2015 at 5:18
  • @AjmalW Now that is an interesting theory. You mean the quantum realm made him forget everything else and only his daughter's voice remembered him?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 1, 2015 at 10:43
  • @TomCody This is what Hank has warned him about. He studied about it for years to find his wife but wasn't able to do it. Once you are in a meaningless place you would not question about it until you have the will of it. His daughter helped him to remember.
    – Afghan
    Aug 1, 2015 at 12:46

When Scott realizes that he needs to "shrink between the molecules", he does what Hank warned him about:

Scott: You know, I think this regulator is holding me back.
Hank: Do not screw with the regulator.
          If that regulator is compromised, you would go subatomic.
Scott: What does that mean?
Hank: It means that you would enter a quantum realm.
Scott: What does that mean?
Hank: It means that you would enter a reality where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity.
          Everything that you know and love, gone forever.
Scott: Cool. Yeah, if it ain't broke...

He intentionally compromises or overloads the regulator. They both twist the regulator, causing it to flash. Normally they would use the buttons on their gloves.

Hank: She turned off her regulator and went subatomic to deactivate the bomb. enter image description here

Scott: I'm gonna have to shrink between the molecules to get in there. enter image description here

Afterwards, it's either damaged, or the core of Pym Particles are completely used up. Not sure which. In any case, he flips off the old core, and replaces it with a Blue Enlarger Disk.

HANK: The suit has no weapons, so I made you these discs. Red shrinks.
Blue enlarges.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Scott only does this through 1) Hearing (Or Imagining?) His Daughter's Voice, 2) Quick Thinking, and 3) Having the tool to do it on hand. Without the Blue disk, there would be no way for Scott to return.

As to Hank's belief it's impossible to return from the Quantum realm, he's going off vague notions and theories about what the Quantum realm is:

Hank: And I spent the next 10 years trying to learn all I could about the quantum realm. Hope: You were trying to bring her back.
Hank: But all I learned was we know nothing.

Obviously, no one else has gone there, Hank's the only one that successfully created A Formula that altered atomic relative distance, and the only person he knows that went there, Janet, has disappeared. Afterwards, when Scott survives the shrinking, Scott doesn't remember anything either, so Hank still knows nothing:

Hank: Scott, please. You don't remember anything?
Scott: Hank. I don't.
Hank: There must be something else.
Hank: Well, I suppose the human mind just can't comprehend the experience, but you made it. Hank: You went in, and you got out. It's amazing.
Hank: [To Self] Is it possible?

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