Life has not been easy for Brookhaven scientists since Chaudhari came to office in April 2003, having struggled in the face of continued funding cuts. A severe squeeze on the Department of Energy's Office of Science budget for nuclear physics in 2006 meant that Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) faced a reduction in its run time by about 60%. RHIC will only be able to operate at almost full capacity this year thanks to a last-minute gift from private industry, announced in January. This good news came shortly before the Bush Administration released its 2007 budget proposal, which contained a 24% rise in funding for nuclear physics. However, that budget must still be scrutinized by Congress, a process that takes many months.

The Indian-born Chaudhari received a PhD in physical metallurgy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966. He then spent 36 years at IBM, rising to the position of vice-president of science in 1982, before taking up his post at Brookhaven. He will stay on at Brookhaven to carry out research, stating in a press release issued by the laboratory that it is time "to spend more time at home and to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities to do science at Brookhaven."