The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory began operation in Summer 2000, colliding gold nuclei at GeV. This is an order of magnitude increase in CM energy over fixed target studies of nuclear collisions at the SPS. Expectations are that the higher energy of collisions at RHIC will generate a hotter, longer lived source, with a better chance of approaching equilibrium. In addition, the higher energy opens up new channels to probe the system, in particular the energy loss of high energy jets traversing the dense matter. I will discuss results from the first run of the STAR experiment and the physics picture of nuclear collisions at RHIC that is emerging.