Pym Particles played a large role in the Avengers: Endgame movie, as they took the team back in time to steal the Infinity Stones. We reveled in their efficiency and usability in this situation, daydreaming about the things we might have gone back in time to fix within our own timelines. We know the Pym Particles came into play during the Ant-Man movies, but we had so many questions about them that the Avengers: Endgame movie failed to explain.
We have everything a confused first-time moviegoer might want to know about Pym Particles as they relate to the MCU. It might be a lot to take in, as the science behind them is complex, but it will further your understanding of the substance. Keep reading to learn the ten things you needed to know about Pym Particles!
10 The Particles were Discovered by Doctor Henry Pym
Pym Particles were discovered in the 1960s by Hank Pym, hence the name of the solution. He is a scientist and the character within the MCU who recruited Scott Lang to become Ant-Man. He created the suit, as well as the processes it involved in metabolizing the substance. Hank kept his work a secret from the world, fearing what might happen if his discovery landed in the wrong hands. He was furious at Scott for revealing his abilities during Captain America: Civil War, ultimately straining the relations between the two of them because of his use of Pym Particles.
9 They are Subatomic Particles that can Alter Size and Mass
The Pym Particles work by going around the Square-Cube Law of Physics, which is a fancy scientific saying that means as an object grows in size its area and volume ratio changes. The substance enhances the density and resiliency of the user, as well as compresses force and energy into a smaller form. The Particles allow for a greater transfer of energy, despite the size of an individual, allowing Ant-Man's mini fist to cause damage to a full-size human's stomach. The blue solution allows the user to grow, while the red is used to shrink an individual or object. The ability to shrink is what makes time travel in the MCU possible, allowing them to become small enough to enter the Quantum Realm.
8 Henry Pym and his Wife Used Them to Save People
Henry Pym and his wife, Janet van Dyne, used the Pym Particles to become the original Ant-Man, while his wife was the Wasp. They operated under S. H. I. E. L. D. and Hank discontinued their use after his wife became lost within the confines of the Quantum Realm while disarming a Soviet missile. They learned to communicate with ants, which assisted them on their many missions. He eventually retrieved Janet from the realm after repeated tinkering with the Pym Particle solution, achieving the impossible after years without his wife.
7 They Can Alter The Brain's Chemistry
Hank learned after many years that the Pym Particles were altering his brain chemistry. He grew to become bipolar and learned from his mistake by creating a helmet to withstand their negative effects. The helmets are waterproof and comprised of thick metal, allowing the user to swim underwater for long periods of time.
It should also be noted that, without any suit at all, the substance will cause the user to turn into a protein-rich goo, which is why, in Avengers: Endgame, all of the other Avengers were outfitted with helmets and suits of their own.
6 It Shunts or Takes Energy From the Kosmos Dimension
Mass and energy have to go somewhere, which is where the Kosmos Dimension comes into play. This dimension is ruled by an insect species called the Kosmosians, and they have deep-rooted hate for humanity. Janet van Dyne's father was actually murdered by one of the Kosmosians in the comics. It is unclear how exactly the Pym Particles tap into the power of this dimension, but it is clear that, due to the natural conservation of energy, the products to be disposed of have to go somewhere, as they cannot be created nor destroyed.
5 Repeated Exposure Can Cause the Body to Make its Own Pym Particles
It is noted in the comics that Janet, Hank, and Scott's daughter Cassie can all produce Pym Particles within their own blood. It is theorized their prolonged exposure to the substance is what caused the change, as they adapted to the subatomic particles, but this facet has not yet been proved in the movies. It will be interesting to see if they add the MCU adds this to the mix in the future, as it created a wild twist to the original storyline.
4 They Cause A Lot of Mental and Physical Strain
The use of the Particles does not come without any consequences, as it does cause physical and mental strain to the human body. It can cause issues such as being unable to grow or shrink again because doing so could kill the user. They have to wait an appropriate time to regain their strength before attempting such a feat again. Pym himself is known for breaking down under extended Particle use, as on one occasion in the comics he created the Yellowjacket after feeling unworthy of Janet's affections. The MCU universe twists the Yellowjacket to be Darren Cross' invention instead.
3 Darren Cross Recreated Them
In the MCU, Darren Cross figured out Hank Pym had already created a substance that could shrink or grow a human. He tried to recreate it on his own, but he couldn't, so he recruited Scott Lang to steal the Ant-Man suit for him. Cross wanted to use the Pym Particles to make a fortune, as he planned on selling them to war-driven Hydra and the Ten Rings to maximize his profits. His only thought was on the money as he worked to perfect his Cross Particles.
2 Provides the User with Confidence
Eating while the size of a bug can be difficult, but, thanks to Pym Particles, that doesn't matter. The particles rid the body of its need to breathe or consume nutrients. It is also why surviving within the Quantum realm is possible, as there is no need to eat or breathe to stay alive. It is unclear how they sustain the body, but it must alter the bodily chemistry in some way during the energy transfer to allow for humans to live without these necessities.
1 Can Trap the User in the Quantum Realm
Those who've already seen Endgame will know that Ant-Man was trapped inside of the Quantum Realm for five years. He came back, thinking he was only gone for a little while, and this is caused by the realms ability to erase all concepts of space and time. Hank Pym himself theorized the experiences one has within the realm cannot be grasped by our insignificant human minds. Janet Van Dyne also was trapped within the realm, but she managed to contact Scott before he went back, proving to Hank she was still alive.