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Charles Francis Richter
Charles Richter was a seismologist, an earthquake scientist.
April 26, 19
September 30, 1985, in Pasadena, California
Place of Birth
Charles Richter was born on a far
m near Hamilton, Ohio, United States of America.
Charles Richter invented new scale to measure the intensity of earthquakes. He did this by using a paper written by Japanese seismologist Kiyoo Wadati to find out that if an earthquake from a large distance away has the same amplitude as an earthquake that is a small distance away, the earthquake that is farther away has the greater amplitude. He used this knowledge to create a numerical scale. The problem was that the power difference of a small and large earthquake was huge. He didn’t know how to have his scale make sense of the huge differences. German scientist Beno Gutenberg suggested using a logarithmic scale. At first, this new scale was called the magnitude scale. Then, it was renamed as the Richter scale.
Charles Richter used a paper written by Kiyoo Wadati to find out that if two earthquakes had the same strength, but were different distances apart, the earthquake that was farther away is stronger than the earthquake that is closer. He used this to make a new scale. The problem was that the difference in strength between a small earthquake and a large earthquake was huge. He didn’t know how to have his scale make sense of the huge differences. A German scientist named Beno Gutenberg helped him by suggesting using a scale where the numbers increase by times 10 instead of by 1. A 7 on this new scale would be 1,000,000 times bigger than a 1 on the scale. At first, this scale was called the magnitude scale. Then, it was called the Richter scale.
Messenger for Los Angeles County Museum; did manual labor in warehouse for Hardware Company; worked in the Carnegie Institute of Washington; Seismological Laboratory in Pasadena; California Institute of Technology.
Did You Know
Parents were divorced; nearly died of infant cholera when he was 15 months old, which left him weak and undersized; he was homeschooled; he was always interested in science; he moved to California when he was young.
Bellis, Mary. “Charles Richter- the Richter Magnitude Scale.”
Web. 19 Sep 2013.
Google. 2013. Web. 15 Sep 2013.
Charles Richter and the Story of the Richter Scale.
Bear, Del.: Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2004. Print.
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