Matthew Knoll's Home Page
Matthew Knoll (aka Matteo Poggi)'s Home Page
I hate (cr)Apple.
I love onions.
I do not like using coordinates.
You can find me in room 430, if you really want to.
If you find me on my rocking chair maybe I'm sleeping, I should however be alive.
I have strange working habit, I prefer to work in the late evening or night. So it's very unlikely to find me in the early morning.
- Srednicki is my favourite book;
- Pokorski is also very enjoyable but it contains a lot of misprints (especially the second edition);
- Wienberg's three volumes are a cumbersome masterpice;
- Fredenhagen lecture notes are crystal clear and are one of the few references not hiding mathematical problems;
- M. Schwartz's book looks modern and very nice. Pay attention when you read about anomaly cancellation...
- Duncan book "the Conceptual Framework of QFT" contains a lot of non trivial issues;
- Coleman's lecture notes... the name should be enough;
- Chankowski unfortunately removed his notes on QFT. That's a pity, they were pretty good;
- Siegel's book: I've never read, but for sure it must be a(n over)complete reference;
- Prof. Eberhard Zeidler is writing an enciclopedia about the subject. After more than 1000 pages there is the treatment of the Harmonic Oscillator. The classical one.
- Collins is a must on renormalization;
- Itzykson and Zuber is a bit outdated but compact and still enjoyable;
- Avoid Peskin and Schroeder as plague. It's a soup of formulae and graphs;
- Ramond's primer about QFT is a book tought to make (some aspects of) QFT more obscure than they are;
- Straumann is my favourite book;
- Misner, Thorne and Wheeler is an outstanding book that make you feel the weight of the subject. If you are patient it is your book;
- De Felice and Clarke is a nice book discussing the problem of measurement in GR;
- Wald: if you get over the shock of its typesetting is a very deep book;
- Weinberg's book, even thought a bit old, is by Weinberg, after all;
- Siegel claims that his book can be used also as a reference for GR. If you agree with him let me know;
- Landau's Classical Field Theory is for the allergic to math;
Against "negative energy solutions" and "Dirac sea"
I consider using these expressions a crime against humanity because mankind is, by its own nature, curious and the product of curiosity are well-posed question and, sometimes, answers. Dirac was a genius and he predicted the existence of antiparticle. Nowadays we perfectly know that the energy of a(n anti)particle is positive, and that the void contains no (anti)particle. So why to use name reminding an incorrect and outdated interpretations? If your answer is "for historical reason", I invite you to refer to the muon as "meson" and to the calculus as "method of fluxions".
Against the belief of certain mathematicians that the only Math important for Physics is ODE and PDE
Perhaps two or three centuries ago (even if, even at that time, it wasn't completely true)! Look at some papers by Witten, which is a Field medallist. How many differential equations did he solve?
Efficient LaTeX Typing
Here I will collect some advices that made my LaTeX typing faster and more efficient. The basic idea is:
So the solution seems to be to type UTF8 symblos directly in source file. Let's explain how this goal can be achieved:
- If I can type UTF8 symbols like α ∂ and ∫ instead of \alpha \partial and \int directly in my .tex file I'll save a lot of keypress;
- moreover the source file will be more human readable.
Modify Keyboard Layout
This can be done in different way depending on your desktop envinronment. However the following way ought to be DE-indipendent, for sure it will work on SISSA PC (with US keyboard).
This method applies almost verbatim to a general Linux distro. If you have a Mac I don't know how to help you (and even if I knew, I wouldn't do: use Linux!)
- Download this file and put it into your Home;
- open a terminal and type
xkbcomp -w 0 .latexkbmap $DISPLAY ;
- now you can explore your new keyboard! It will be almost the same as before. The only change will be that the Menu Key (the one set between Right Win Key and Right Ctrl Key) won't work anymore as the completely useless Menu Key, it will act as a modifier of the keyboard as Shift or AltGr. Try to held it pressed while press some letter or number: you will see some greek letters and math symbol. You can combine it with Shift key to have other symbols!
In order to make LaTeX accept unicode in the source you can just use
This will be compatible with (almost) all your package. An exception I found is
biblatex (which is not present in SISSA distro. Otherwise use XeLaTeX (it's not present in SISSA distro) which supports UTF8 natively.
Make Mods Permanent
Create the following script:
if [ -s ~/.latexkbmap ]; then
xkbcomp -w 0 .latexkbmap $DISPLAY
Add to autostart your script (in Gnome: System → Preferences → Startup Applications).
As promised, this procedure will reduce your typing time and the readability of your coude. It's just a matter to get accostumed.