Saturday, April 14, 2012

Victory Over Traffic Tickets

This story seems to be getting a lot of legs. A couple of people have pointed it out to me already.

A UCSD physicist claimed victory over a traffic ticket by using a simple kinematic analysis.

A physicist at the University of California San Diego used his knowledge of measuring bodies in motion to show in court why he couldn't be guilty of a ticket for failing to halt at a stop sign. The argument, now a four-page paper delving into the differences between angular and linear motion, supposedly got the physicist out of a $400 ticket. If you want to use this excuse, you'll have to learn a little math -- and some powers of persuasion.
The article cited a "paper", which is wrong, since it is only an ArXiv article (not sure if and where it was submitted). Note also that it was uploaded on April 1st, but supposedly, this isn't an April Fools stunt.

You may read his analysis yourself and see if you are convinced of his innocence, or if you can poke holes in his argument.

This story reminds of an earlier attempt at using the laws of physics to argue against another supposed traffic violation.


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