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Name: Chady
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: FL
Country: USA
Date: Summer 2011



Question:
How exactly does the supersymmetry (or SUSY) theory interact everyday around us? I understand that every particle has a sparticle or gaugino that has one half less integer spin, but how do those particles interact, do they cancel out or annihilate when they touch their partners? Are super-partners 2 particles stuck together in superspace (a fermion and a boson) and one of them cant be observed (the new sparticles and gauginos)? Are there some of these new particles around us now and we cant see them and how do they interact with the particles we know of now (maybe a Feynman diagram)? thank you

Replies:
Chady,

We do not know for a fact that supersymmetry exists. Measurements have not truly tested it. Many theoretical difficulties are explained and/or eliminated if the universe has supersymmetry. The basis of supersymmetry is that there is no preference for fermions (half-integer spin) or bosons (integer spin): if a half-integer spin particle can exist, then so can a similar particle with integer spin. The same would hold true in reverse. It is my impression that theoretical physicists are still exploring the possible effects of supersymmetry, as well as how to measure it.

They will not link in the same way as a particle and its anti-particle. A more similar link might be an electron and the corresponding neutrino. This is more of a charge symmetry: -e for the electron, zero for the neutrino. Masses can be very different, but most other properties are the same.

Likewise, A supersymmetric particle (or sparticle) does not need the same mass as it's more common relative. Very different masses are an easy explanation for why we do not see these sparticles. If we can find them, then supersymmetry will be accepted by many scientists. If the sparticles are not at the energies that supersymmetry theories predict, then there is something incorrect about the theories.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Physics Instructor
Illinois Central College


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