Getting out of speeding tickets with physics :)

Dear Reader,

Dmitri Krioukov, a senior research scientist at UCSD, got out of a speeding ticket of $400 by giving a four page article to the judge, explaining why the officer would have thought Dmitri did not stop fully at the stop sign, claiming a sort of “optical illusion” as an excuse. He describes his paper, on his faculty website, as a prize-winning publication:  “The paper was awarded a special prize of $400 that the author did not have to pay to the state of California.”

The conclusion of the paper:

In summary, police officer O made a mistake, confusing the real spacetime trajectory of car C1|which moved at approximately constant linear deceleration, came to a complete stop at the stop sign, and then started moving again with the same acceleration, the blue solid line in Fig. 5|for a trajectory of a hypothetical object moving at approximately constant linear speed without stopping at the stop sign, the red solid line in the same figure. However, this mistake is fully justified, and it was made possible by a combination of the following three factors:

1. O was not measuring the linear speed of C1 by any
special devices; instead, he was estimating the vi-
sual angular speed of C1;

2. the linear deceleration and acceleration of C1 were
relatively high; and

3. the O’s view of C1 was brie y obstructed by an-
other car C2 around time t = 0.

As a result of this unfortunate coincidence, the O’s perception of reality did not properly reflect reality.

Just because it’s so funny, you can read the full article here.

I love scientists with a sense of humor. It’s like XKCD in real life.

Yours in Christ,

Br. James Dominic, OP

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