From Quantum Diaries – Pauline Gagnon : “Gluino, Higgsino, bingo!”

Pauline Gagnon
Dr. Pauline Gagnon

Gluinos and Higgsinos are some of the many undiscovered particles we may find at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) if a theory called supersymmetry, also known as SUSY, turns out to be true. This theory is built on the Standard Model, the current theoretical model of particle physics.

Standard Model

The Standard Model relies on the Higgs boson to hold true. But even with this boson, physicists know that this model cannot be the final answer as it has a few shortcomings. For example, it fails to provide an explanation for dark matter or why the masses of fundamental particles such as electrons and muons are so different. This theory of supersymmetry is one of the most popular and most promising ways to extend the Standard Model, but it has yet to manifest itself.

SUSY is very popular since it brings lots of harmony in the world of sub-atomic particles. In the Standard Model, there are two types of particles: fermions and bosons. The fermions include quarks and leptons and are the building blocks of matter. These particles have “spin” values of ½. The force carriers are bosons, the other family of particles. They have integer values of spin, that is, 0 or 1.

Supersymmetry would blend fermions and bosons together by associating partners to each particle: a fermion would be paired with a boson, and vice-versa. For example, each quark would come with a “squark,” the name given to the supersymmetric partners of quarks. The squarks would be bosons rather than fermions and would carry spin 0. The same thing goes for leptons. Likewise, the known bosons (gluons, Higgs, W, Z and photons) would come with fermion superpartners with half spin values. These would be the gluinos, Higgsinos, winos, zinos and photinos. A mixture of the force carrier superpartners (all except the gluinos) gives charginos and neutralinos, the latter being particles that would be the perfect candidates for dark matter….”

And, now, it gets interesting. Dr Gagnon is a great communicator. Please read the full post here.

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