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Fun With Physics

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A UC San Diego physicist got out of a traffic ticket he had received for running a stop sign by writing a mathematical proof showing that the ticketing police officer had misinterpreted the situation: "We show that 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." [io9]