Since the Iron Man arc reactor is a fictitious device, and it has no official scientific explanation in the Iron Man canon that I'm aware of, we might as well something up. Now, I'm mixing real science and fake science here. So physics nerds and comic-book nerds: Deal with it.
Like Tony Stark, Eddie Zarick is a bit of an inventor. And like Tony Stark, Zarick had a Pepper Potts in his life he wanted to lock down. So like Tony Stark, Zarick built himself a mini-Arc Reactor, but instead of sticking it in his chest to use its electromagnetic properties to keep shrapnel from slowly tearing its…
Eddie Zarick is a clever man. First, he has a girlfriend who is a comic book nerd and loves Iron Man ("She always calls me Tony Stark for all of the projects I have going," he says). Second, he can make stuff like this cool motorized Iron Man arc reactor, which opens to reveal a proposal ring.
A three volt battery pack may not be enough to power Iron Man's armor, but it's all the juice you need for this incredible home-made arc reactor. And if you don't believe me, just check out the instruction manual.
Sure, you've been able to buy cheap plastic arc reactors for a while, but this is the real-deal Mark I "Hero" reactor from the actual movie. And it's just one of a boatload of props and costumes up for auction.
No wonder Tony Stark managed to do an arc reactor in a desert cave. According to this tutorial, you really only need some LEDs, a 9-volt battery, plywood, 22 AWG gauge copper wire, assorted resistors, and a substance called polymorph—which can be made into any shape—to create your very own virtually-unlimited power…