Axel Drees
Experimental Nuclear and Heavy Ion Physics, Physics and Astronomy, SUNY Stony Brook
Jet Quenching and the Quark Gluon Plasma at RHIC

With the launch of BNL's relativistic heavy ion collider, RHIC, we have stepped into a new era of high energy nuclear physics. The first three successful running campaigns with Au-Au, p-p, and d-Au collisions have brought a wealth of physics results, the most exciting being the discovery of suppressed production of high momentum hadrons in central Au-Au collisions. The data have been interpreted as "jet quenching" owing to huge energy loss by rapidly moving partons in a quark gluon plasma. However, alternative explanations exist, which cannot not be ruled out on the basis of Au-Au data alone. Over the past weeks, however, new results from d-Au collisions have emerged. They rule out extant alternative explanations of jet quenching and hence support the conjecture that quark matter is formed at RHIC.