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The story probably dates from the late 80s to early 90s. I'm almost sure I read it in one of the pulp magazines while researching an article in the early '00s.

A physics professor, in a fit of exasperation with his teenaged son, tweaks things so that he ends up in a timeline where he never had a son. Except that his vanished life haunts his dreams, and in his new timeline he's not a good enough physicist to go back.

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