The Quantum Realm is a dimension in the Multiverse only accessible through magical energy, mystical transportation using a Sling Ring, or by tremendous subatomic shrinking caused by the Pym Particles. In the Quantum Realm, space and time are believed to be irrelevant.
Access to the Quantum Realm was finally realized by scientist Doctor Hank Pym through the use of Pym Particles, particles of an extra-dimensional nature that are capable of altering the size of beings or objects. Janet van Dyne, Pym's wife and the first person to bear the mantle of Wasp, disappeared into the Quantum Realm after sacrificing her life to disable a Soviet nuclear missile. Janet van Dyne became a resident of the Quantum Realm through this sacrifice. Following this event, Pym dedicated himself to researching the Quantum Realm, though he was unable to generate concrete results or information.
Escaping the Quantum Realm
After his battle with Darren Cross, Scott Lang was briefly left trapped in the Quantum Realm, but managed to escape by altering the Ant-Man Suit's mechanisms; replacing the shrinking regulator with an enlarging one by installing a blue Pym Particles Disk in his regulator. Lang claimed to have no recollection of what he experienced there; however, much to Pym's disappointment.
Meeting the Ancient One
Two years after the Clash of the Avengers, Lang received an apparent message from van Dyne in the form a shared memory of her daughter, which allowed Pym and Hope to confirm their suspicions about van Dyne being alive. They briefly opened a tunnel to the Quantum Realm, however, it was only able to be open for a few seconds. Later, when able to open a more stable tunnel, van Dyne, sending a message through Lang, gave her exact location, before revealing that there were only two hours before the Quantum Realm's instability would move her, causing her to disappear for another century.
Just before going through with the rescue, Hank Pym told Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne that he would be the one to enter the Quantum Realm, allowing Scott and Hope to distract Ghost away from the lab, in an effort to have an unproblematic rescue. With the battle for the laboratory ongoing, Hank entered the Quantum Realm with just about 15 minutes left before Janet's location would change. Upon arriving at Janet's location, however, Hank became disoriented due to the Quantum Realm's nature, but Janet was able to find him and they reunited. They then came back with the lab, with it having returned to its original size.
Trapped in the Quantum Realm
- "So... five years ago, right before Thanos, I was in a place called the Quantum Realm. The Quantum Realm is like its own microscopic universe. To get in there, you have to be incredibly small. Hope, she's my... She was my... She was supposed to pull me out. And then Thanos happened, and I got stuck in there."
- ―Scott Lang to Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff[src]
Though Janet van Dyne managed to help stabilize Ghost for the time being, they needed more quantum energy to fully heal her. To this end, Scott Lang was sent back into the Quantum Realm with a device to absorb quantum energy. However, while he was doing this task, Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the life in existence. Coincidentally, Hank, Janet and Hope were among the victims, leaving no-one at the controls to bring him back to the normal world.
Released from the Quantum Realm
Pronounced dead by society as his body was never recovered, Scott Lang remained trapped in the Quantum Realm as the van was placed in a warehouse. For Lang's luck, however, a rat happened to sniff around the truck, accidentally setting the controls to bring him back, causing Lang to be shot from the truck to a bunch of garbage, bringing him back to reality. Five years had passed, but for Lang, it had only been five hours.
- "Time works differently in the Quantum Realm. The only problem is, right now, we don't have a way to navigate it. But what if we did? I can't stop thinking about it. What if, we could somehow control the chaos, and we could navigate it? What if there was a way to enter the Quantum Realm at a certain point in time but then exit at another point in time? Like... Like before Thanos."
- ―Scott Lang to Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff[src]
The Quantum Realm was essential in the Avengers' plan to undo the Snap. Lang introduced the idea of going to the Quantum Realm to acquire past versions of the Infinity Stones, since in the present, the Stones were destroyed by Thanos. Bruce Banner initiated tests, sending Lang to the Realm and having him walk for an hour there, while in present time, Banner would get him out almost immediately. While the initial tests were unsuccessful, with Lang turning back into a kid, an old man, and a baby in the tests, the final test worked, as Lang was able to return in his correct age and appearance.
Meanwhile, Tony Stark managed to perfectly simulate a travel path by turning it into an inverted Möbius strip. He eventually brought the model he created to the New Avengers Facility in order to do a final test run. Clint Barton volunteered to the test run and was able to travel the Quantum Realm to land on a point where his family was still alive. The test was proved to be successful when Clint brought back a glove taken from the past.
With the time travel mechanics now perfected, the team split up and traversed the Quantum Realm to different points in time: Steve Rogers, Iron Man, Hulk and Ant-Man set out to the Battle of New York in 2012 during the Chitauri Invasion, in order to get the Time Stone, the Tesseract and the Scepter; Nebula, War Machine, Black Widow and Hawkeye traveled to 2014 to get the Orb in Morag as well as the Soul Stone in Vormir; and Thor and Rocket Raccoon traveled to Asgard in 2013 to extract the Aether from Jane Foster during the Second Dark Elf Conflict.
Unfortunately, the Tesseract disappeared when Loki used it to escape. With few Pym Particles left, Tony and Steve traveled through the Quantum Realm again, this time, to 1970 in Camp Lehigh in order to steal the Tesseract from there and acquire more Pym Particles.
The respective teams were ultimately successful in acquiring their respective Stones and traveled the Realm to present time; save for Natasha, who sacrificed herself in order to get the Soul Stone.
Unbeknownst to them, the 2014 version of Nebula posed as her present self as she traveled to the Realm back to the New Avengers Facility. While the others were busy trying to undo Thanos' actions, she was able to infiltrate the facility and open a path for the past version of the Sanctuary II to travel to the present. Thanos' forces then launched an attack on the facility in order to acquire the Stones. The sheer size of the ship lead to the destruction of the Avengers' Quantum Tunnel, disabling access to the Quantum Realm.
During the Battle of Earth, Hulk suggested the idea of returning the Infinity Stones in their respective timelines. While Iron Man reminded the team that the time travel device was destroyed, Ant-Man revealed that Luis' Van was still intact to do just that. The heroes then tried to bring the Infinity Stones to the machine, but were unsuccessful as Thanos destroyed the device itself. This act lead to an incredible burst of Quantum energy.
Nevertheless, the heroes were victorious and saved the world. Hulk eventually built another time machine in order to return the Stones and Mjølnir to their respective times. Captain America volunteered to do the task, and traveled the Quantum Realm to return the items to their respective places. However, instead of returning to 2023 as planned, he instead traveled far back to the 1940s, where he married Peggy Carter and lived a long, fulfilling life. Once Captain America was an old man, he traveled back to the present timeline in order to declare Sam Wilson as his successor.
Nature and Structure
This section requires expansion
The Quantum Realm is said by Hank Pym to be a largely unexplored dimension, about which scientists currently know very little. Pym also says the concepts of time and space become irrelevant when entering the realm, and whoever tries to explore it may become trapped "for eternity"; it is even possible to travel through time without altering the future.
Scott Lang's incursion into the Quantum Realm began on a microscopic level, then entered atomic size, later dissolving into pure energy and waves, then in a fractal-like reality where the shrinking person meets an infinite number of mirror images of themselves, and ending in a weightless dark void with pockets of dim light.
- In the comics, the Quantum Realm is known as the Microverse, which consists of many different dimensions all accessible through the same means as they are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Notably, the Microverse was also home to the Micronauts, a superhero team. Wasp was also trapped in the Microverse, during the time of her supposed death in Secret Invasion, before being discovered by Hank Pym.
- The depiction of the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man is based on the former Disneyland attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ant-Man
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.01: Laws of Nature
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Doctor Strange
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ant-Man and the Wasp
- ↑ Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Avengers: Endgame
- ↑ ANT-MAN's PEYTON REED Reveals MICROVERSE Connection & Storyline Adaptation Source
- ↑ Peyton Reed Takes Jeremy Into The Quantum Realm Of Making ANT-MAN!
- ↑ Ant-Man Could Destroy Superman, Says Quantum Physics