Special Topic of Supersymmetry

Published November 2011

Figure: Snapshot of two colliding lead ions just after impact (simulation). © 2000 CERN.

Since the 1980s, if not earlier, supersymmetry has reigned as the best available candidate for physics beyond the standard model. But experimental searches for supersymmetric particles have so far come up empty, only reconfirming the standard model again and again. This leaves supersymmetry a theory of infinite promise and ever more questionable reality.

Top 20 Highly Cited Papers
10-Year Period | 2-Year Period
Time Series Graphs
( 1- & 5-Year Periods)

 

The features of this Special Topic outlined above represent distinct slices of citation data. By approaching citation data from multiple angles, we can observe trends and anomalies across categories—leading to more rich and nuanced stories behind the data.

The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) January 1, 2001-September 26, 2011. This analysis was created using the Web of Science® from Thomson Reuters. The resulting database contained 18,614 (10 years) and 4,648 (2 years) papers; 21,944 authors; 99 nations; 478 journals; and 2,920 institutions. See additional information below in the overview & methodology sections.

 

Topic Overview


Technically, "supersymmetry" is a particle physics term for a relationship—a "symmetry"—between the particles in the universe that transmit forces, known as bosons, and the particles of matter, known as fermions. Since the early 1980s, physicists have considered supersymmetric versions of the standard model to be the most compelling means to unite the weak, strong, and electromagnetic interactions—the three quantum field theories—in one grand unified theory. To achieve this unification, though, these supersymmetric models require the existence of an entire universe of yet-undiscovered elementary particles—fermion partners for every existing boson and boson partners for every fermion.

That supersymmetry seems to emerge naturally out of string theory has made it all that much more attractive to theoretical physicists. Indeed, supersymmetry is a necessary ingredient for most viable string theories. It also provides a good candidate for the dark matter that pervades the universe—a particle known as the neutralino, which is the supersymmetric partner of the neutrino.

The one major problem with supersymmetry is a simple one: experimental searches for supersymmetric particles have so far come up empty, only reconfirming the standard model. The latest results, released in August, appear to rule out the simplest and so most promising supersymmetric models. This leaves supersymmetry an idea of infinite promise and still very questionable reality. "It's a beautiful idea," as Fermilab's Joseph Lykken recently said about supersymmetry to the BBC. "It explains dark matter, it explains the Higgs boson, it explains some aspects of cosmology; but that doesn't mean it's right."1

1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14680570


Constructing the Database

In this analysis, Special Topics examines the literature on supersymmetry over the past decade and over the past two years. To construct the initial data pool, the keywords "supersymmet*" and "SUSY" were used to search titles, abstracts, and keywords of original articles, reviews, and proceedings papers published in the Web of Science® database from Thomson Reuters between January 1, 2001 and September 26, 2011. To make the paper lists more on-point, we restricted to those articles containing the keywords in the title. The annual "Review of particle physics" articles by the Particle Data Group were excluded.

INTERVIEWS MENU



Read interviews, first-person essays, profiles, and other features about people in a wide variety of fields, along with information on journals & institutions in the topic of Supersymmetry. All of the author comments below are also listed in the site-wide Author Commentaries listings (available by month/year or alphabetically).


JUNE 2012
Nima Arkani-Hamed on Maximally Supersymmetric Theories

Nima Arkani-HamedAccording to our Special Topics analysis of supersymmetry research, Nima Arkani-Hamed contributed to 26 of the papers in our special dataset covering the last decade. Collectively, these papers were cited a total of 2,640 times, placing Arkani-Hamed at #2 on our listing of supersymmetry authors by cites per paper, and at #10 by total citations. In this interview, he talks with ScienceWatch.com about supersymmetry and its place in theoretical physics.

 

MARCH 2012
Mirjam Cvetic on String Theory and Supersymmetry

Mirjam CveticOur Special Topics analysis of supersymmetry research over the last decade has demonstrated that Professor Mirjam Cvetic of the University of Pennsylvania is a highly cited author in the field. In our special dataset on supersymmetry, Cvetic has contributed to 62 papers cited a total of 2,764 times, placing her at #8 among authors ranked by total citations. In this interview, she talks with ScienceWatch.com correspondent Gary Taubes about her work.

 

MARCH 2012
Shamit Kachru on Breaking Supersymmetry

Shamit KachruAccording to our Special Topics analysis of supersymmetry research over the last decade, Professor Shamit Kachru has contributed to 42 of the reports in our special collection. These papers have collectively been cited 3,951 times, placing him at #2 on our listing of supersymmetrcy authors by citations, and at #4 by cites per paper. In this interview, Kachru talks with ScienceWatch.com about his highly cited theoretical insights into supersymmetry.

 

FEBRUARY 2012
Sven Heinemeyer on Supersymmetry at the Large Hadron Collider

Sven HeinemeyerOur Special Topics analysis of supersymmetry research over the last decade has identified Professor Sven Heinemeyer of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) as a highly cited author in the field. In the last decade he has contributed to 88 of the papers specified for this topic, gaining 3,135 citations, earning the #3 spot in the author ranking by papers and the #6 spot by total citations. In this interview, he talks with ScienceWatch.com correspondent Simon Mitton about his work.

 

JANUARY 2012
John Ellis on the Symbiosis Between Particle Physics & Astrophysics

John EllisAccording to our Special Topics analysis of supersymmetry research over the past decade, the work of Professor John Ellis ranks at #1 by total citations and by total papers, based on 134 papers cited a total of 4,632 times. His work also appears in Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters, where he ranks among the top 1% of researchers in Physics, with 164 papers cited a total of 4,594 times between January 1, 2001 and August 31, 2011. In this interview, he talks with ScienceWatch.com about his highly cited work as it relates to supersymmetry.

 

DECEMBER 2011
Keith Olive on Possibilities for Supersymmetric Dark Matter

Keith OliveOur Special Topics analysis on Supersymmetry research published over the past decade shows that the work of Dr. Keith Olive ranks at #3 by total cites and #4 by total papers, based on 85 papers cited a total of 3,792 times. Olive also ranks among the top 20 researchers in Physics in Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters. In this interview, ScienceWatch.com correspondent Gary Taubes talks with Olive about his supersymmetry research.

Thresholds



Once the database was in place, it was used to generate list of authors, journals, institutions, and nations. Rankings for author, journal, institution, and country are listed in three ways: according to total cites, total papers, and total cites/paper*. The paper thresholds and corresponding percentages used to determine scientist, institution, country, and journal rankings according to total cites/paper, and total papers respectively are as follows:

Entity Authors Institutions Journals Nations
Thresholds 19 52 33 44
Percentage: 1% 1% 10% 50%
*Unless otherwise specified, all rankings have a >= 5 paper threshold for all measures.

Methodology



The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) January 1, 2001-September 26, 2011. This analysis was created using the Web of Science® from Thomson Reuters. The resulting database contained 18,614 (10 years) and 4,648 (2 years) papers; 21,944 authors; 99 nations; 478 journals; and 2,920 institutions. See additional information below in the overview & methodology sections.

Papers restricted: 4,957 (10 years) and 1,147 (2 years).

Keywords



The Internet search terms for this Topic are:

SUPERSYMMETRY, SUSY, YANG-MILLS THEORY, VISCOSITY, PLASMA, HERWIG 6, HADRON EMISSION REACTION, EVENT GENERATOR, GLUONS, GAUGE SUPERSYMMETRY, BRANES, SUPERSTRING THEORY, MATRIX MODELS, TOPOLOGICAL STRINGS, GAUGE THEORY, SOFTSUSY, SUPERSYMMETRIC SPECTRA, PLANAR AMPLITUDES, DARK MATTER, SUPERGRAVITY, DARKSUSY, STADARD MODEL, META-STABLE VACUA, ENERGY LOSS, HEAVY QUARK, YANG-MILLS PLASMA, KKLT FLUX COMPACTIFICATION, UNIFICATION, SIGNATURES, LHC, LAGRANGIAN, EDM CONSTRAINTS, DIPHOTON EVENTS, TRANSVERSE ENERGY, R-SYMMETRY, WESS-ZUMINO MODELS, PP COLLISIONS, JETS, B-L DARK MATTER MODEL, COSMIC RAYS, CMSSM, MUHM1, FLAVOR VIOLATION, NON-RELATIVISTIC HOLOGRAPHY, KALUZA-KLEIN TRUNCATION, MASSIVE MODES, HIGH ENERGY POSITRON SPECTRUM, PAMELA/HEAT, NEUTRINO MASSES, TRIBIMAXIMAL MIXING, GRAND UNIFIED MODEL, F-THEORY COMPACTIFICATION, METASTABLE SUPERSYMMETRY BREAKING, SQCD, HORIZON FORMATION, FAR-FROM-EQUILIBRIUM ISOTROPIZATION, ZAMOLODCHIKOV ASYMPTOTIC FORMULA, INSTANTON EXAPANSION.

Featured Images


Event displays from Beam 01 in ATLAS, November 20th, 2009. ATLAS Experiment © 2009 CERN.

The images used throughout the Special Topic of Supersymmetry (excluding interviews) are from CERN.

All of the images from CERN, were used with written permission. All images are © CERN.


Featured image

Event displays from Beam 01 in ATLAS, November 20th, 2009. ATLAS Experiment. © 2009 CERN.

 

Head figure: Snapshot of two colliding lead ions just after impact (simulation). Used with permission. © 2000 CERN.

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