Abstract: Fast Partons as a Source of Energy and Momentum in a Perturbative Quark-Gluon Plasma:

An interesting problem in RHIC physics is to determine the response of the medium to the passage of a fast parton, i.~e., a parton with velocity approaching the speed of light. In particular, experimental measurements of di-hadron correlation functions show a double peak structure in the back-jet distribution which has raised speculation that a Mach cone may be induced by supersonic partons. After presenting a review of the relevant experimental results I will derive the space-time distribution of energy and momentum deposited by a fast parton traversing a weakly coupled quark-gluon plasma by treating the fast parton as the source of an external color field perturbing the medium. I then use the result as a source term for the linearized hydrodynamical equations of the medium and show that the solution contains a sonic Mach cone and a dissipative wake if the parton moves at a supersonic speed