An intrinsic field subtractor is a machine that utilizes radiation to remove intrinsic fields from solid objects. Typically, the object subjected to the machine's process is disintegrated.
The Gila Flats Test Base ran studies and experiments using the intrinsic field subtractor. On August 20, 1959, nuclear physicist Jon Osterman is accidentally locked in the main chamber and obliterated by the radiation when the program cannot be overridden. Over the next few months, Osterman is able to reassemble himself into his new form, a blue-skinned superhuman being with extraordinary powers, one being the ability to control matter at a subatomic level, reflective of the nuclear energy that created him.