Monday, July 27, 2009

And you told your math teacher you'd never use this stuff

My former roommate A-Bar, who is an all-around awesome dude as well as a Master of Science, used calculus to get out of a traffic ticket today. Here's how:

Specifically, I used an application of the intermediate value theorem.

OK, so story.

I was backing out of my driveway, which is on a corner with a stop sign. I reversed out, and then did that thing where you don't use the brakes to stop but just put it in drive while coasting backwards and then you go forwards, right in front of the stop... and a cop was watching and pulled me over, and said I ran the stop.... Read More

In a moment of stunning clarity and audacity, I said, "Actually, technically I did stop" and I explained to him that since I went from going in reverse (negative velocity) to drive, at some point, for an instant, my velocity HAD to have been zero, which means I was stopped. Calculus proves it.

He laughed and said that since I taught him something new, I could go free.


Jordan said...

Ah, but his acceleration was never zero, which is where the law has a problemo.

WR said...

YEA - a small victory for the common man! Gotta love science and math!