On March 11, 2011, Kazuya Yoshida’s lab at Tohoku University in Japan started shaking. Things fell from the ceiling. The bookshelves collapsed. Off the coast of the city of Sendai, the ocean floor had ruptured, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami waves that inundated inland regions. Although it only lasted minutes, time seemed to dilate. When it was finally over, nearly 16,000 people were dead. For many of those left, there was no water, no power, no phone connection. The space that citizens had known had turned suddenly dangerous, alien.