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(ICM)-2010, Hyderabad :USE OF MATHEMATICS IN FORENSIC SCIENCE –K.Gnaneswar October 14, 2010

Filed under: General — rimhyd @ 1:43 am

Forensic Science is any branch of science used to analyze crime scene evidence for a court of law. All science uses math concepts and equations.

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It is impossible to analyze forensic evidence scientifically without math


One area of math that is crucial; to forensic  science is taking precise measurements at a crime scene. Knowing the exact length of a shoe print could later help rule out crime suspects. Forensic science need exact measurement of everything at a crime scene in order to perform scientific calculations properly.



Ballistics refers to the trajectory of a projectile in flight. In crime scene analysis involving firearms, forensic scientists study the ballistics in three different ways. First, the scientists analyze the bullet. They measure the specific scratches on the bullet itself that were caused by its travel through the barrel of the gun. Prosecutors are able to link a bullet to a specific firearm this way. Secondly, scientists analyze the trajectory of the bullet. Through geometry, forensic scientists are

ble to recreate the crime scene, oftennoting where people were standing and the height of the person shooting the gun.

They mathematically analyze the pitch and yaw of the bullet to indicate if the person was moving when he shot the firearm.  Finally, they examine the wound profiles and mathematically determine the height and distance the suspect stood from the victim.


Forensic Science Scientists use not only measurements, but proportions in their analysis. If a human leg bone is discarded in unmarked grave. For example, forensic scientists use math equations to determine what proportion, or percentage, of a person’s overall height  the log bone would be, Once they know that, they can determine how tall the person was and whether it was a child or adult. Proportions are one way math is involved in Forensic Science.


Trigonometry, the study and measurement  of triangles, is another common use of math in Forensic Science Blood Spatter analysts, for example, use trigonometry in their study of how blood from a human injury splatters on other surface. They draw lines then use angles and distances to calculate the third point of the triangle: the person who struck the victim, where the attacker was standing, how hard he must have hit the victim and more…,


Probability is a measurement of the likelihood that a specific event will occur under certain conditions. Forensic Scientists often use probabilities to explain how likely it is that their findings are correct. for example, a forensic scientist who has compared a suspects DNA to DNA from a fluid sample found at a crime scene will tell the jury the probability, or likelihood, that the DNA samples are from the same person: Perhaps the probability the two samples did not come from the same person is 1 in 100 billion


Police often analyze skid marks, particularly when the vehicle was used as a weapon or someone was severely injured. Using the equation

v= /k, where       d = length o the skid marks

k = constant based on the car and the friction of the road

v = velocity

Scientists are able to determine how fast a car was going at the time of impact. For example assume the constant for a Tata sumo on dry concrete is 0.04. the skid marks at the scene of the accident were 2.56 meters in length

v= /k

v= /0.04

v=40 meters per second


Math is fundamental to all kinds of science, and whether a forensic scientist specializes in biology, chemistry, computer or any other scientific branch, math will be central to the crime – solving – job. As more is learned about math and science and as new scientific discoveries are constantly being made, math will take on even larger roles in Forensic Science. In the future, Forensic Scientists in any discipline will need an increasingly strong educational background in math.


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