From Iron Man's Iron Manual Page 10:

Particle beam weapons (PBWs) were the buzz word of the 80s. As soon as someone figured out how to unleash the beasts, they put them to war. Of course sub-atomic particles have been ‘leashed' for years in particle accelerators. cyclotrons, synchrotrons and the like. Unleashing them meant putting them on mobile platforms so as to shoot down flying objects. That's where I come in. I'm often a flying object. The energetic particle would attack the outer layers of say, missile skin, and continue to blast away atoms of interior material. In the construction of the latest model of the suit, the outer layers act as a conduit for the force-field EMF, plus energy conversion and good old temperature resistance.

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