The New York Times today reports on a Physics of the Universe Summit held a week or so ago in LA. According to the Times, participants stayed at “a Hollywood hotel known long ago as the ‘Riot Hyatt,’ for the antics of rock stars who stayed there.” Talks were a couple miles south at the SpaceX factory, Larry Page of Google was there “handing out new Google phones to his friends”, the magician David Blaine performed card tricks, and Bob Dylan’s son Jesse showed some sort of film about the LHC. The only other information about this that seems to be available on the web is Sean Carroll’s blog posting here, where he gives a link to the slides of his talk.
Optimist Gordy Kane claimed that the LHC will soon discover supersymmetry, making physics on the verge of seeing “the bottom of the iceberg”. Lisa Randall (who evidently has a new book planned about science and the LHC) argued instead for focusing on less grandiose small problems. She was skeptical about supersymmetry, pointing out that we should have seen various evidence of it by now, and that the “wimp miracle” of a stable superpartner explaining dark matter doesn’t work well “without some additional fiddling with its parameters.” Joe Lykken summarized the situation as:
We’re confused, and we’re probably going to be confused for a long time.