Abstract: Unraveling AdS/CFT: What string theory tells us about the quark-gluon plasma

The conjectured correspondence between a string theory in ten dimensions and certain supersymmetric gauge theories in four has recently garnered considerable attention from scientists studying the hot matter produced in heavy ion collisions. An important and immediate question is then to what extent one can hope to describe the dynamics of the quark gluon plasma in a supersymmetric conformal field theory. In this talk I review recent applications of the AdS/CFT correspondence to the strongly interacting matter produced at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Progress in characterizing the medium with these techniques will be discussed, as well as limitations inherent to the method.