Physical match (or physical fit) evidence was considered reliable in court for years, until the Daubert case, which required standardized scientific methodology on all forensic evidence. Physical matching faces the same criticism as other forms of physical evidence (specifically, that it lacks a scientific foundation). Physical matching is based on the idea that when an object is fractured, the shape of each fragment is unique and it is not possible to recreate a fragment that is identical to any other. In this study, fifty wooden popsicle sticks were broken in half, the pieces were mixed, and then reconstructed using physical match analysis. Results of the study show that each broken fragment of the one hundred popsicle stick pieces was unique, which allowed them to be recognized and reconstructed.
Lau, Yiu Ming Sunny
"Physical Match: Unique Fracture Patterns in Wooden Popsicle Sticks,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 5
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/themis/vol5/iss1/9