My dad and I were debating over the number of flavors of quarks last night, and I'd kind of like to settle it.

I said there were six flavors of quarks - up, down, top, bottom, strange, and charm. He was arguing that there weren't, and was starting to google it as I said that you could argue that there were twelve due to the theory of supersymmetry, but since currently there wasn't enough evidence to support supersymmetry, there were six flavors. Google, of course, said there were the six I listed above, but he argued that there were twelve, and that though the LHC had no direct evidence in support of supersymmetry, that there was plenty of indirect evidence. I, being the obstinate person I am, argued that there wasn't enough evidence and that there were only 6 flavors.

So...I don't know what to think. I haven't read a ton about supersymmetry, and I don't know enough about the evidence for it to know whether there's enough to kind of assume that there's 12 flavors or if one should merely stick with the standard model and go with 6 flavors.

In summary: how many flavors of quarks are there, taking into account recent/new theories (including ones not involving supersymmetry)? If there are six, why is there not enough evidence for more than six?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure a full answer is warranted here... Of course you are right, there are only 6 flavors of quarks. In supersymmetric theories they have "partners" which are flavored scalars (so spinless particles), but they are not quarks. $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2017 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ The whole story surrounding your question is superfluous. $\endgroup$
    – Danu
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


There are six flavors of quarks, as you'd mentioned to your dad: up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top. Their super-partners (so-called squarks) have been detected neither directly or indirectly. As of now, squarks are only real in theory.

To the knowledge of the furthest scientific advances, their are only 6 flavors of quarks.


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