The concept of graphene came along in 1947, but nobody paid much attention to it. I was fascinated because it had a linear E versus K while everything else that people were working on at that time had a quadratic dispersion relationship. I wondered why this was and what was so special about it. That was my fascination.
My older brother was a musical prodigy, and he got a scholarship to the Bronx House Music School. We moved to the Bronx when I was 4 to be close to his music school. Then I got a music scholarship myself, at the age of 6, but that was for a school down in Greenwich Village. I had to take the elevated train and then the subway to get there.
Energy is one topic on which different countries can work together collaboratively. If we can all produce energy from an element that's available in abundance on our planet, that would be a good thing, but we have to learn how to produce energy in large quantities, cheaply, efficiently and without detriment to the environment.
Hunter High School was a real turning point for me. I found out about its existence through the music school. Nobody I knew had gone to one of these special high schools, and my teachers didn't think it was possible to get in. But Hunter sent me a practice exam, and I studied what I needed to know to pass the exam.
Superconductivity helped broaden my professional phase space. When I started my work, it was already known that magnetic fields could quench superconductivity. I found that the transition was not continuous, that superconductivity was initially enhanced in the presence of magnetic fields, then it would suddenly fall off.