What's the world coming to? With all of the PhDs America produces, pretty soon law enforcement will be limited to officers with graduate degrees in quantum physics - but for now, Newton is still all it takes. Well, usually. Sometimes even the laws of physics are not what they look like.
And special laws of physics apply on April 1st so use the contents of this paper on the differences between angular and linear motion carefully. Not every judge is going to be impressed but this was in California, so he was probably happy to have someone besides an environmental activist in court.
Using his knowledge of physics, Dmitri Krioukov from UC San Diego was able to show that a number of coincidental events led to a police officer having a perception of reality that was not actually reality - basically, an officer who saw him roll through a stop sign in his Toyota made a mistake.
What were the combined events that led to the distortion of reality? The officer was measuring the linear but not angular speed of his car, the car decelerated and then accelerated relatively fast and finally, that another momentarily blocked the officer's view.
Bring on the graphs!
The officer's perception of the angular speed was caused by the partial obstruction, "remarkably similar to the curve showing the angular speed of a hypothetical object moving at constant speed v0 = 8 m/s ≈ 18 mph."
Did he really save $400 in court using this paper? Krioukov told Physics Central he did. If you believe that, you'll believe I can use math to show you how to get to all of the good hookers before Charlie Sheen - and we know that just isn't possible.
Citation: Dmitri Krioukov, 'The Proof of Innocence', http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.0162v1.pdf
Physics Proof Of Innocence - Using Science To Get Out Of A Speeding Ticket