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Piccolo compendio etimologia delle particelle in fisica

Perchè fotone, protone o altrepaticelle hanno quel nome ? Da dove deriva ?

Discovered particles

Ions are atoms or molecules that are charged. The term “ion” was coined by 19th-century polymath William Whewell, who developed it for his contemporary Michael Faraday (see their correspondence), who made important discoveries in the realm of electromagnetism. “Ion” comes from the neuter present participle of Greek ienai, “go,” to describe the particle’s attraction, or tendency to move toward opposite charges. Ienai originates from the PIE ei, “to go, to walk.”

The suffix “-on” derives from “ion” and appears in the names of many particles.

Hypothetical particles

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Named by: Abdus Salam, J. Strathdee, 1974

Supersymmetry is a theory that about doubles the number of particles in the Standard Model of particle physics. It states that every particle has a (usually more massive) “super” partner.

Although supersymmetry comes in many forms and flavors and took many years to develop, it owes the name “supersymmetry” to a 1974 paper (subscription required). Super comes from “supergauge,” used to describe the high power of gauge operator, and symmetry, because the theory is global rather than local (see paper, subscription required).

The nomenclature for supersymmetric particles was put forward in 1982 in a paper by physicists Ian Hinchliffe and Laurence Littenberg.

To identify the supersymmetric partner particle of a boson, add the suffix “-ino.” (For example, the supersymmetric partner of a photon would be called a photino.) And to identify the partner of a fermion, add the prefix “s-.” (For example, the partner of a muon would be a smuon.)


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