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From Classical to Quantum Fields$
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Laurent Baulieu, John Iliopoulos, and Roland Sénéor

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788393.001.0001

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Supersymmetry, or the Defence of Scalars

Supersymmetry, or the Defence of Scalars

(p.784) 27 Supersymmetry, or the Defence of Scalars
From Classical to Quantum Fields

Laurent Baulieu

John Iliopoulos

Roland Sénéor

Oxford University Press

The only fields of the Standard Model whose masses are not protected by a symmetry are the scalar fields. Supersymmetry is a symmetry between fermions and bosons which provides precisely such a protection mechanism. This chapter presents a comprehensive study of supersymmetric field theories. In particular, it is shown that they do not suffer from the phenomenon of gauge hierarchy. They have remarkable renormalisation properties and offer the most attractive framework to build a unified theory. The breaking of supersymmetry, both explicit and spontaneous, is studied in detail. The generalisation of electric-magnetic duality in supersymmetric theories yields non-perturbative results and the concept of twist makes possible the study of topological field theories. The supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model is shown to predict the existence of new elementary particles, whose phenomenological properties are analysed.

Keywords:   standard model, supersymmetry, gauge hierarchy, renormalisation, fermion, boson, spontaneous breaking, duality, twist, topological theory

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