Newton and the Big Apple

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When I graduated from college 15 years ago, I had the same goal as many beginning astrophysicists: to become a tenured professor. I was living at my parents’ house in the New York City suburbs, preparing to pursue a master's degree in England followed by a Ph.D. at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, when the 9/11 attacks happened. I frantically tried to contact friends and family while military jets flew over my childhood home. Over the next few days, I saw my hometown covered in fliers for the missing, which soon turned into makeshift memorials. It felt like the entire world was changing.

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