Dmitri Krioukov, a senior research scientist at UCSD, successfully appealed his failure-to-stop ticket using a physics and math argument that ultimately swayed a San Diego judge. Krioukov compared the problem to the way a person standing on the platform sees a train approaching and thinks it is moving slowly, when in fact it is barreling down the track. Krioukov determined that a car moving at a constant speed can appear to move in the same way as a car that is moving fast but stops for a short time and then accelerates. In other words, a car that appears to be moving at a constant speed through a stop sign could have actually stopped before speeding up again. He said the calculations took him five to 10 minutes, but writing the paper took a few hours. Krioukov joked that it was much faster and less expensive to write the paper and defend himself than to find and pay for a lawyer.
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Bet it's a painful memory, isn't it? Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego, was pulled over for jumping a stop sign.
But Krioukov tried something that most traffic courts probably haven't seen: He wrote an academic paper to argue why he ought to be found not guilty. Its title: " The Proof of Innocence.
The judge bought it, says Krioukov. He was acquitted. Krioukov posted his paper online and gave it a subtitle: "A way to fight your traffic tickets.
Here's the abstract. If you were a busy judge, who'd studied law more intently than mathematics in school, how would you react to it? The paper is four pages of dense reading, filled with equations and graphs, but here's the simple version:. Krioukov argues the officer, watching at an angle about feet away, confused the car's actual or linear speed with its angular speed -- the rate at which it seemed to go by.
If you'd like an analogy, think of yourself on a railroad platform as the express roars past. As the train approaches in the distance, it doesn't seem to move much, but as it passes you -- going no faster -- it certainly seems to race by. Krioukov claims he did stop and restart quickly, and the officer missed it. Finally -- and this is the fun part -- Krioukov says there was another car blocking the officer's view at the moment of truth. He was driving a Toyota Yaris, a subcompact, and something bigger perhaps, he suggests, the size of a Subaru Outback was in the lane next to him as he jammed on the brakes.
Why did he jam on the brakes? Krioukov, in slightly broken English he grew up in Russia puts it right there in the paper:. In fact, he was sneezing while approaching the stop sign. As a result he involuntary pushed the brakes very hard. But Physics Central , which first reported this story, says Krioukov concluded with a challenge: "I want to ask the readership to please find the flaw in the argument. Shows Good Morning America. World News Tonight. This Week. The View.
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Dmitri Krioukov, Physicist, Writes Four Page Paper To Avoid Paying Traffic Ticket
A physicist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC 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. If you want to use this excuse, you'll have to learn a little math -- and some powers of persuasion. Krioukov claims he was approaching a stop sign in his Toyota Yaris when a police officer saw him roll through the intersection, apparently without stopping, and pulled him over. Case closed — except that Krioukov says he was able to show a confluence of events that only made it seem he hadn't stopped. First, the officer watching the stop sign saw Krioukov's car from the side, distorting his idea of how fast Krioukov was traveling before the stop. At the stop sign itself, Krioukov contended he had stopped — but the officer's view was briefly blocked by a passing car.
SDSC Physicist Claims Victory over Traffic Ticket with Physics Paper
Bet it's a painful memory, isn't it? Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego, was pulled over for jumping a stop sign. But Krioukov tried something that most traffic courts probably haven't seen: He wrote an academic paper to argue why he ought to be found not guilty. Its title: " The Proof of Innocence. The judge bought it, says Krioukov. He was acquitted. Krioukov posted his paper online and gave it a subtitle: "A way to fight your traffic tickets.