High energy collisions of heavy nuclei permit the study of nuclear matter at temperatures and energy densities so high the fundamental theory for strong interactions, QCD, predicts a phase transition to a plasma of quarks and gluons. This matter, called a Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), has been studied experimentally for the last decade and has been observed to be a strongly interacting liquid with a low viscosity. High energy partons created early in the collision interact with the QGP and provide unique probes of its properties. Hard partons fragment into collimated sprays of particles called jets and have been studied through measurements of single particles, correlations between particles, and measurements of fully reconstructed jets. These measurements demonstrate partonic energy loss in the QGP and constrain the QGP's properties. Measurements of the jet structure give insight into the mechanism of this energy loss. The information we have learned from studies of jets and the outlook for future measurements will be reviewed.
Argonne Physics Division Seminar Schedule