Brookhaven National Laboratory Director Praveen Chaudhari has announced
a $13-million private contribution that will enable the Relativistic
Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) to operate for 20 full weeks this year. The
money was raised by Jim Simons, a member of the Board of Brookhaven
Science Associates, which manages and operates the laboratory (see http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/Admin/BSA.asp).
This is a remarkable change in this year's outlook for RHIC, which
under the FY 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill was
being forced to postpone its run until late this year. During the Senate's
final consideration of this bill in November, Hillary Rodham Clinton
(D-NY), Charles Schumer (D-NY), John Warner (R-VA), George Allen (R-VA),
Harry Reid (D-NV) and Pete Domenici (R-NM) discussed the impact that
the 8.4% or $34.0 million reduction in funding for the Nuclear Physics
program would have on facility operations. Senators described dramatic
reductions in run times for RHIC in New York (-61%) and the Jefferson
National Laboratory in Virginia (-29%) resulting from the FY 2006 appropriation,
which was the amount of funding originally requested by the Bush Administration.
Brookhaven officials predicted staff layoffs as a result of the funding
reduction. (See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/168.html.)
While the senators agreed that DOE had broad reprogramming authority,
it appeared that money could only be shifted from other accounts within
the Office of Science budget.
The following is the full text of the statement by Director Chaudhari:
"January 13, 2006
"I am very pleased to announce that a group of partners at
Renaissance Technologies Corporation and members of the Board of Directors
of Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) have made a remarkably generous
contribution to the Stony Brook Foundation. The Stony Brook Foundation
plans to use this contribution to enter into a Work for Others agreement
with BSA to enable the operation of RHIC (the Relativistic Heavy Ion
Collider) this fiscal year.
"Jim Simons, a member of the BSA Board and President of Renaissance
Technologies, an investment management company, initiated and led the
drive to raise the money.
"A giant atom smasher,' RHIC is a world-class facility
for the study of nuclear physics.
"The Work for Others agreement between the Stony Brook Foundation
and BSA, which we expect will be concluded very soon, will enable RHIC
to continue to explore the smallest known pieces of matterthe
tiny quarks and gluons that make up protons and neutronsand how
"All of us at Brookhaven Lab, including the 1,000 visiting
scientists and students who collaborate on world-class science at RHIC,
greatly appreciate the generosity and leadership of Jim and the Renaissance
group in raising the $13-million contribution to the Stony Brook Foundation.
He has done a great service for the Laboratory and the science community.
"The Department of Energy's Office of Science has given Brookhaven
National Laboratory very strong support for RHIC, and the international
headlines garnered by RHIC science every year are in large measure the
result of DOE's commitment to funding nuclear physics. In the light
of budget constraints, DOE had planned to fund 12 weeks of RHIC operations
in FY06, but unexpected increases in electric power costs had made this
limited level of operation impossible. Now, with the $13-million contribution
to the Stony Brook Foundation and the planned Work for Others agreement
between the Stony Brook Foundation and BSA, the Laboratory will be able
to operate RHIC for a full 20 weeks. This run should begin in early
"I also recognize the solid commitment to the Laboratory from
Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and from Congressman Tim
Bishop, who have worked tirelessly on behalf of Brookhaven Lab.
"All of us are looking forward to more exciting and intriguing
results from RHIC."