The power of physics didn't help with a $200 traffic ticket

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Math may have many uses, but dodging traffic tickets isn't one of them.

A San Diego court commissioner said the difference between liner and angular velocity had nothing to do with her dismissing a scientist's $200 traffic ticket.

Dmitri Krioukov, a senior research scientist at the University of California, San Diego, was issued a ticket for failing to completely stop at a stop sign. Rather than eat the $200 charge, Krioukov decided to fight, producing a four page paper entitled “The Proof of Innocence,” arguing that it was physically impossible for him to violate the law.

Krioukov believed his real-world application of physics was a success.

“My argument in the court went as follows: that what he saw would be easily confused by the angle of speed of this hypothetical object that failed to stop at the stop sign. And therefore, what he saw did not properly reflect reality, which was completely different," Krioukov told NBC San Diego.

"The judge was convinced, and the officer was convinced as well," Krioukov told PhysicsCentral.

But the equation-filled paper on the physics of a car in motion went largely over the head of Superior Court Commissioner Karen Riley, she told U-T San Diego.

“The ruling was not based on his physics explanation,” Riley said. “It was based on the officer’s view ... The officer, wasn’t close enough to the intersection to have a good view.”

Krioukov has nevertheless uploaded his paper online (pdf), describing it in his abstract as “a way to fight your traffic tickets.”