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Quantum physicist offers insight into Ant-Man & Captain Marvel's origin

05.26.2017

Would you believe me if I made a claim so bold as to say that Ant-Man is the strongest superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What's that, you have your doubts? That's fair. However, what if Dr. Spiros Michalakis, a quantum physicist and staff researcher at the California Institute of Technology was to say such a thing? Back in August 2014, Michalakis was hired by Marvel Studios to consult on ANT-MAN. What excited him most about the project was the character's ability to shrink himself down to a quantum level. In fact, he ruminated on the notion so much that he wrote an in-depth blog post about it in 2015 which stated the following:

“[I]f someone could go to a place where the laws of physics as we know them were not yet formed, at a place where the arrow of time was broken and the fabric of space was not yet woven, the powers of such a master of the quantum realm would only be constrained by their ability to come back to the same (or similar) reality from which they departed. All the superheroes of Marvel and DC Comics combined would stand no chance against Ant-Man with a malfunctioning regulator.”

Recently, Michalakis participated in a phone call interview with Inverse.com, where he proceeded to expound upon the "size matters" superhero, and how ideas from the character's original film will ring out across the MCU, including directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's CAPTAIN MARVEL.

It just so happens that, due to legal reasons, Marvel was unable to refer to the world in which Ant-Man shrinks himself down to as The Microverse. Then, after consulting with Michalakis, he proposed that they call it the Quantum Realm. 

“I’m not quite sure if they ever considered going quantum — or if it was more like nano,” Michalakis says. “The idea often lost to the public is that quantum physics and quantum theory is not even in space and time.”

As stated in the Inverse article:

The first quantum theories were developed more than a hundred years ago by the likes of Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and Werner Heisenberg, but Michalakis says there’s been a second quantum revolution — the influx of devices that rely on quantum mechanics, such as MRI imagery. And no doubt, Ant-Man’s gear to shrink and grow could be the bomb to blast open the second quantum revolution.

“So when I was looking to inject elements of modern physics into the script, I brought up this idea that, when Ant-Man goes into the Microverse and something malfunctions, he doesn’t just go to just a smaller space like Fantastic Voyage,” Michalakis exclaimed. Ant-Man takes things a bit farther. “This is a place where the nature of reality changes around you. So, when you enter the quantum realm, its different set of laws takes hold.”

In our world, the laws of physics are crystallizations of chaos, says Michalakis. All superheroes, if they were real, would be limited by the laws of physics, including even Superman. Kryptonians may defy human science, but they’re still working within our limitations. Dr. Michalakis argues Ant-Man does not.

In regard to CAPTAIN MARVEL, Michalakis suggested that having a grasp on the fundamentals of the quantum realm will provide fans with a better understanding of Carol Danvers and her role in the MCU. While speaking with Inverse, Michalakis said, “This is exciting for the future. There are different ways that some of these ideas appear on-screen in a few years. Not just for Ant-Man, but also for Captain Marvel and all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

It's a given that Marvel is going to have to make some changes to the Captain Marvel character's origin story, especially if Kelly Sue Deconnick's outstanding run of the accomplished military hero is being used as a blueprint for Carol's personality and ceaseless courage.Personally, I love it when trained professionals talk science. In fact, one of my favorite things about being married to a microbiologist is to hear about her day-to-day activities, and how those operations equate to entire regions having safe drinking water for the communities that exist within the areas they represent.

You can look forward to seeing how Michalakis and Marvel's careful planning of superhero sciences all come together when ANT-MAN AND THE WASP makes it big on screens beginning on July 6, 2018. Additionally, be sure to find out how the Quantum Realm ties into Carol Danvers' origin when CAPTAIN MARVEL flies into theaters on March 8, 2019.  

Extra Tidbit: There are probably more than 100 billion galaxies in the cosmos. Each of those galaxies has between 10 million and a trillion stars in it. Our sun, a rather small and feeble star (a “yellow dwarf”, indeed), weighs around a billion billion billion tons, and most are much bigger. There is an awful lot of visible matter in the Universe.But it only accounts for about two per cent of its mass.
Source: Inverse.com

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