In theoretical physics, supergravity (supergravity theory) is a field theory that combines the principles of supersymmetry and general relativity. Together, these imply that, in supergravity, the supersymmetry is a local symmetry (in contrast to non-gravitational supersymmetric theories, such as the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model). Since the generators of supersymmetry (SUSY) are convoluted with the Poincaré group to form a Super-Poincaré algebra it is very natural to see that supergravity follows naturally from supersymmetry.
Like any field theory of gravity, a supergravity theory contains a spin-2 field whose quantum is the graviton. Supersymmetry requires the graviton field to have a superpartner. This field has spin 3/2 and its quantum is the gravitino. The number of gravitino fields is equal to the number of supersymmetries. Supergravity theories are often said to be the only consistent theories of interacting massless spin 3/2 fields.
SUGRA, or SUper GRAvity, was initially proposed as a four-dimensional theory in 1976 by Daniel Z. Freedman, Peter van Nieuwenhuizen and Sergio Ferrara at Stony Brook University, but was quickly generalized to many different theories in various numbers of dimensions and greater number (N) of supersymmetry charges. Supergravity theories with N>1 are usually referred to as extended supergravity (SUEGRA). Some supergravity theories were shown to be equivalent to certain higher-dimensional supergravity theories via dimensional reduction (e.g. N = 1 11-dimensional supergravity is dimensionally reduced on S7 to N = 8, d = 4 SUGRA). The resulting theories were sometimes referred to as Kaluza-Klein theories, as Kaluza and Klein constructed, nearly a century ago, a five-dimensional gravitational theory, that when dimensionally reduced on circle, its 4-dimensional non-massive modes describe electromagnetism coupled to gravity.
mSUGRA means minimal SUper GRAvity. The construction of a realistic model of particle interactions within the N = 1 supergravity framework where supersymmetry (SUSY) is broken by a super Higgs mechanism was carried out by Ali Chamseddine, Richard Arnowitt and Pran Nath in 1982. In these classes of models collectively now known as minimal supergravity Grand Unification Theories (mSUGRA GUT), gravity mediates the breaking of SUSY through the existence of a hidden sector. mSUGRA naturally generates the Soft SUSY breaking terms which are a consequence of the Super Higgs effect. Radiative breaking of electroweak symmetry through Renormalization Group Equations (RGEs) follows as an immediate consequence. mSUGRA is one of the most widely investigated models of particle physics due to it predictive power requiring only four input parameters and a sign, to determine the low energy Phenomenology from the scale of Grand Unification.
2 blog comments below
Good grief! 'borrowed' thoughts.
standready on Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:50 pm
Yeah I get the sugar thing every winter.
Bluedoll on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:16 am