The Science (And Scientists) Behind Ant-Man


Several months before production began on the new sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the director Peyton Reed and a room full of writers, artists and producers assembled in the Marvel Studios offices in Burbank, Calif., to listen to a quantum physicist explain the science of getting really, really small.

Recalling the meeting recently, the quantum physicist, Spyridon Michalakis of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech, said that he described the subatomic realm as “a place of infinite possibility, an alternative universe where the laws of physics and forces of nature as we know them haven’t crystallized.” He had suggestions about how it might be visualized on a movie screen: “beautiful colors changing constantly to reflect transience.”

The movie’s producer, Stephen Broussard, said, “I’m not completely sure I have my head around it yet, but it certainly sparked some interesting ideas for what this place could be.”

In the first “Ant-Man” movie (2015), Scott Lang, the title character played by Paul Rudd, wields the power to shrink to the size of a Tic Tac under the tutelage of the scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilley). “When you’re small, energy’s compressed,” Hope tells Scott. “So, you have the force of a 200-pound man behind a fist a hundredth of an inch wide. You’re like a bullet.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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