The Naming of Sparticles, with apologies to TS Eliot

06Feb08

The Naming of Sparticles
Flip Tomato, with apologies to TS Eliot

The naming of sparticles is a difficult thought
It isn’t just one of your grad student games
You may think at first I’m mad as a crackpot
When I tell you, a sparticle has three different names.

First of all, there’s the name we physicists use daily
Such as stop, selectron, photino (twiddle A)
Such as higgsino, chargino, sdown, or the LSP,
Each of them a sensible physicsy name.

There are fancier names if you think they sound neato,
Some are quite playful, some are quite lame:
Such as CP-odd Higgs, sneutrino, stau, gravitino
But all of them sensible physicsy names.

But I tell you, a field needs a name that’s particular
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can it make its gauge representation much clearer
than to write out its indices, dotting the i’s.

Of the names of this kind, I can give you a lot,
Such as H-up-j, B-nu, or q-LH-i,
Such as g-alpha-sigma, or else twiddle-chi-nought
Names that would make many-an-undergrad cry.

But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
The name that would make even your adviser impressed,
The name that no physics research can discover –
But the sparticle itself knows, and will never confess.

When you detect a field in profound propagation,
There’s only one thing to do that’s worth mention,
Time-ordered product, two-point correlation;
And compute, and compute, and compute the cross section.

That symmetrically super,
supersymmetric,
Deep-inelastic nonsingular cross section.



4 Responses to “The Naming of Sparticles, with apologies to TS Eliot”

  1. 1 GG

    Excellent !
    After all didn’t TS Eliot himselft wrote on current HEP and compactifying extra dimensions ?

    “Would it have been worth while,
    To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
    To have squeezed the universe into a ball
    To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
    To say: “ [My name is M], come from [Witten],
    Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”.

    (slightly modified excerpt from ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’)

  2. 2 Steffen

    The naming of “sparticles” is indeed one of the darkest sides of modern theoretical physics.

  3. 3 Alejandro Rivero

    I agree with Steffen. Pretty bad when one has that a “sfermion” is a boson. And besides, the S is for string, isn’t? Not way, perhaps it is an “scattered fermion”.

  4. Super Sub atomic theorist
    Wasnt panicking about the collider
    but my ‘wary’ button was active.
    Mighty Page you’ve got here
    May I refer you?



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