While most scientists are content with curing diseases and figuring out time travel, Dmitri Krioukov is actually putting his book learning to good use.

The UC San Diego physicist recently managed to think his way out of a $400 traffic ticket by publishing a research paper on how he couldn't have done what the police office said he did.

Krioukov was charged with running a stop sign, but, according to his paper, the officer's view was partially obstructed by a passing vehicle, which led him to incorrectly estimate Krioukov's speed. In actuality, the physicist claims, he had rapidly deceleated before the stop sign by slamming on the brakes due to a sneeze, and then rapidly re-accelated, making it appear to the officer that no deceleration had taken place.

Long story short, Krioukov's split-second stop is probably still ticket-worthy, but, as he told PhysicsCentral, "the judge was convinced, and the officer was convinced as well," and at the end of the day that's all that matters.

[photos via Caida, Shutterstock]