String Theory For Dummies
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String theory’s concept of supersymmetry is a fancy way of saying that each particle has a related particle called a superpartner. Keeping track of the names of these superpartners can be tricky, so here are the rules in a nutshell.

  • The superpartner of a fermion begins with an “s,” so the superpartner of an “electron” is the “selectron” and the superpartner of the “quark” is the “squark.”

  • The superpartner of a boson ends in “–ino,” so the superpartner of a “photon” is the “photino” and of the “graviton” is the “gravitino.”

Use the following table to see some examples of the superpartner names.

Some Superpartner Names
Standard Particle Superpartner
Higgs boson Higgsino
Neutrino Sneutrino
Lepton Slepton
Z boson Zino
W boson Wino
Gluon Gluino
Muon Smuon
Top quark Stop squark

About This Article

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Andrew Zimmerman Jones received his physics degree and graduated with honors from Wabash College, where he earned the Harold Q. Fuller Prize in Physics. He is the Physics Guide for the New York Times' About.com Web site. Daniel Robbins received his PhD in physics from the University of Chicago and currently studies string theory and its implications at Texas A&M University.

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