PHYSICS, FTW! Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at UCSD, gets off a $400 traffic ticket by publishing a persuasive paper, “Proof of Innocence”.
Arguing in court, he explained that the officer who issued him a ticket for driving through a red light had his sense of perception deceived by combination of three circumstances which induced a physical phenomena: “if a car stops at a stop sign, an observer, e.g., a police officer, located at a certain distance perpendicular to the car trajectory, must have an illusion that the car does not stop, if the following three conditions are satisfied: (1) The observer measures not the linear but angular speed of the car; (2) The car decelerates and subsequently accelerates relatively fast; and (3) There is a short-time obstruction of the observer’s view of the car by an external object, e.g., another car, at the moment when both cars are near the stop sign.”
I love his concluding sentence, “As a result of this unfortunate coincidence, the O’s perception of reality did not properly reflect reality”. The judge must have been impressed by the graphs in his Popular Physics (free) publication: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0162v1.pdf