Using maths to solve crimes ๐Ÿ”Ž๐Ÿšจ(part 1)

Ever wondered what they actually do with a taped off crime scene on CSI? ๐Ÿค”They do maths!๐Ÿ˜ From finding a victims time of death to removing the blur from a speed camera image or finding crime hotspots, maths is used so much in forensics. This is the first of several posts that will explain how!

Maths is crucial in analysing any blood that is found at a crime scene in order to find: where the victim was positioned, what weapon was used and if the body has been moved etc. Knowing this info gives us a better understanding of the sequence of events that occurred and therefore helps to catch the correct attacker! ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Most blood at a crime scene will be the result of a blood spatter from an injury and so will not drop vertically to the ground but at an angle. This means that the blood drops will form ellipses on the ground or surface (not circles). We can use the shape and location of these ellipses to tell us about where the blood came from! By drawing a line through the long axis of each ellipse and extending these lines until they intersect with one another, we find the most probable location of the attack (at the point of intersection). We can then use trigonometry to calculate the most probable height at which this wound was created since the size of the long axis of the ellipse compared to the short axis tells us the angle the blood was spattered from (called the angle of impact). The size of the blood stain tells us about the type of weapon that was used since a smaller stain was likely produced by a higher energy transfer like a gun shot ๐Ÿ”ซ. Maths can also be used in these blood analyses through the modelling of the projectile of the spatter (involving forces like gravity and drag) and the fluid dynamics of the blood.

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