Here are some of the highlights from day 2 of the conference, as I saw it.
Gordy Kane continued to describe his recent collaboration with Bobby Acharya and others (see the post about day 1), focussing on their prediction of the Higgs mass. Specifically, they claim to predict that the Higgs should sit between about 122 and 129 GeV, and most likely at about 125 GeV. This time, the animosity towards these claims was a lot more apparent. Some of the varied objections made by various people are as follows:
- This 'prediction' was first discussed at around the time that the rumours of a 125 GeV Higgs began to circulate last year. Obviously this makes a lot of people suspicious, although Kane insists that they had not heard any such rumours at the time they were doing the calculation.
- They don't have an explicit compactification which realises the various features they claim to be 'generic'. This doesn't actually both me too much; if their arguments about the necessary moduli masses etc. are correct, then it is perfectly valid to assume these features, and see what they imply. There don't seem to be any reasons for the necessary compactifications to not exist.
- Related to the above is the robustness of the high-energy boundary conditions they assume for the renormalisation group flow. These are absolutely crucial for the Higgs mass. (Edit: Here I am talking about the soft SUSY breaking parameters.)
Michael Ratz discussed R-symmetry as a solution to the mu problem. I can't say much more than his abstract, other than to point out that in these models, the R-symmetry is broken at the electroweak scale, in contrast to models that I (and many other people) have worked on, in which fermion masses and the mu term are generated without breaking R-symmetry.
There were a number of other interesting talks, including many by people I consider friends, but I don't want to discuss them all, so to be fair I will not discuss any!