In Marvel's movie Ant-Man, Scott can become small by reducing the space in atoms.

So he surely can't get smaller than atoms. But in a scene in the movie, Scott gets very smaller, even smaller than atom. Isn't it an exaggeration of his powers?

  • 5
    It’s comic book physics. Best not to over think it.
    – s3raph86
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 4:57

3 Answers 3


There is a lot of empty space in atoms.

The structure of an atom is somewhat similar to the structure of our solar system. In this picture, an the atom is on the top, and the solar system is on the bottom.

enter image description here

But the diagram of the atom, and the diagram of the solar system, are both huge exaggerations. If the whole earth was the size of a map pin (a little smaller than a pea), the sun would be almost 100 feet away. And there are more planets that are much farther from the sun! So there is a lot of empty space in the solar system, and also a lot of empty space in an atom.

The Ant-Man technology says that it is "getting rid of the space in atoms". There is plenty of space in an atom to compress. And if you compress all the atoms in a human that much, you can make a person smaller than an atom.

  • I gace done some googling and sone calculation and I've found out that a man would still be bigger than atom if the space is squeezed. So it is illogical that Scott shirnked and became smaller than an atom.
    – iamgroot
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 11:18
  • 1
    @AsifIqubal Darn. I wonder if the space between atoms is compressed as well? There's a whole lot of space there, too! Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:17
  • Even if you do that,it would not still be enough.
    – iamgroot
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 4:58

No, it's not an exaggeration.

Ant-Man (Scott Lang) shrinking powers can go way bellow the atomic size:

Scott Lang can also shrink to sub-microscopic size, and thereby enter the countless "subatomic universes".


In the movie, Hank Pym equipped the Ant-Man suit with a regulator so that it won't get into the sub-atomic quantum realm and get lost forever, like his wife (van Dyne's mother) did:

While van Dyne harbors resentment towards Pym about her mother Janet's death, he reveals that Janet, known as the Wasp, disappeared into a subatomic quantum realm while disabling a Soviet nuclear missile. Pym warns Lang that he could suffer a similar fate if he overrides his suit's regulator.


  • But his suit's power is that it can reduce the space between atoms. So how can he be smaller than atom by reducing the space between atom? This seems out of logic to me.
    – iamgroot
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 11:49
  • 2
    @AsifIqubal He reduces the space in atoms not the space between atoms. There is plenty of scope for getting smaller than an atom if you do that (and it is comic physics so we shouldn't argue too much).
    – matt_black
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 14:53

Ant-Man can go beyond reducing the space in atoms, he can go subatomic level which Hank Pym suggested him not to go:

Hank Pym: Do not screw with the regulator. If that regulator is compromised you would go sub-atomic.

Scott Lang: What does that mean?

Hank Pym: It means that you would enter a quantum realm.

Scott Lang: What does that mean?

Hank Pym: 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 Lang: Cool. Yeah. I'm... If it ain't broke... - IMDb

So going beyond atom was possible from start but not suggested to do so because you can get lost like Hank Pym's wife did.

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