AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The study of physics has helped to explain some of life's greatest mysteries: the laws of motion, the equivalence of energy and matter.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: E is equal to MC squared and it's energy is equal to mass.
CORNISH: And now, how to get out of a $400 traffic ticket. Dmitri Krioukov, a research scientist at the University of California San Diego, was cited for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. But NBC San Diego reports that rather than pay up, the 42-year-old physicist challenged the ticket by taking a page from the book of Jerry Seinfeld.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SEINFELD")
JERRY SEINFELD: (as Jerry) Unfortunately, the immutable laws of physics contradict the whole premise of your account.
CORNISH: That's right. In a four page paper to the judge, Dmitri Krioukov explained that his ticket defied the laws of physics. He wrote that, quote, "the police officer made a mistake, confusing the real space time trajectory of the car, which moved at approximately constant linear deceleration, came to a complete stop at the stop sign and then started moving again with the same acceleration for a trajectory of a hypothetical object moving at an approximately constant linear speed without stopping at the stop sign." Did you get all that? Neither did we.
Krioukov added that the officer's car was briefly obstructed by another vehicle at the time he approached the stop sign and, ultimately, the judge was convinced. No ticket, no traffic school. Dmitri Krioukov fought the law and the law of physics won.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I FOUGHT THE LAW")
THE CLASH: (Singing) Breaking rocks in the hot sun. I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won. I needed money 'cause I had none. I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.