The scalar potential of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) is nearly flat along many directions in field space. We provide a catalog of the flat directions of the renormalizable and supersymmetry-preserving part of the scalar potential of the MSSM, using the correspondence between flat directions and gauge-invariant polynomials of chiral superfields. We then study how these flat directions are lifted by non-renormalizable terms in the superpotential, with special attention given to the subtleties associated with the family index structure. Several flat directions are lifted only by supersymmetry-breaking effects and by supersymmetric terms in the scalar potential of surprisingly high dimensionality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Michael Dine, Gordy Kane, John March-Russell and Lisa Randall for helpful discussions. The work of T.G. and S.P.M. was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy. The work of C.K. was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-FG02-90ER40542 and by the Monell Foundation.