I review at a non-technical level the use of the gauge-string duality to study aspects of heavy ion collisions, with special emphasis on the trailing string calculation of heavy quark energy loss. I include some brief speculations on how variants of the trailing string construction could provide a toy model of black hole formation and evaporation. This essay is an invited contribution to "Forty Years of String Theory" and is aimed at philosophers and historians of science as well as physicists.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Gauge-string duality
- Heavy ion collisions
- String theory