The names of supersymmetric partner particles of fermions are formed by s- + the name of the normal particle. E.g.:

  • sparticle
    • sfermion
      • squark
        • sup
        • sdown
        • scharm
        • sstrange
        • stop
        • sbottom
      • slepton
        • selectron
        • selectron sneutrino
        • smuon
        • smuon neutrino
        • stau
        • stau sneutrino

(The names of superpartners of bosons are formed differently, by changing -on to -ino, e.g., gluino.)

I couldn't find any information online on how to pronounce these words. Would you pronounce "sfermion" (for instance) as /ˈɛs ˈfɝːmiɑn/ or /ˈsfɝːmiɑn/ or something else?

  • Nothing that begins with an S in English is pronounced with ɛs. Do you speak a Latin-based language?? Because Spanish and Portuguese speakers typically change an initial s to that phoneme....so for example, smith becomes esmith [sorry too lazy to do the phonemes].
    – Lambie
    Apr 25, 2016 at 19:13
  • 2
    @Lambie: I think the idea is that it might be pronounced as the letter "s," like how "X-ray" starts with /ɛks/. That kind of pronunciation becomes tempting when faced with things like "sstrange" or "sbottom."
    – herisson
    Apr 25, 2016 at 19:22
  • "Sparticle" is apparently short for "super-particle," so I guess a third theoretical pronunciation for "sfermion" would be /ˈsuːpɚˌfɝmiɑn/ (US) or /ˈs(j)uːpəˌfɜːmɪɒn/ (British). I haven't found pronunciations with /ɔn/ listed for "fermion" in any dictionary.
    – herisson
    Apr 25, 2016 at 19:31
  • Well, I dunno. that symbol is for the s in English. So, I don't see a difference then between the two ones posted by the OP.
    – Lambie
    Apr 25, 2016 at 19:36
  • 1
    @sumelic: The standard pronunciation in the U.S. is /-ɑn/. Electrawn and fermiyawn just sound wrong to me. The author of book you found currently lives in Australia ... maybe they pronounce them differently there, or maybe he's just confused about how non-Australians pronunce them. Apr 26, 2016 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


As I have heard these pronounced, one says "Es" and then the following particle name, Es Fermion.

On a side note, the "on" receives the same pronunciation as the "on" in "proton."

  • 1
    Would you know why "a sneutrino" has far more results on Google than "an sneutrino"?
    – mic
    Apr 28, 2016 at 13:39
  • 1
    @user165604 I think that is because sneutrino can be pronounced whereas sbottom or sdown cannot. I remember hearing professors talk about the hyperbolic functions...for tanh I heard "tanch" or "hyperbolic tangent." Sinh was pronounced sinch. Apr 28, 2016 at 14:19

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