Matthew Knoll's Home Page

Matthew Knoll (aka Matteo Poggi)'s Home Page

General Statements

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.

Book Suggestion



Personal Crusades

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 So why to use name reminding an incorrect and outdated interpretations?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:

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!)

LaTeX Settings

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: ~/.latekb file:

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.