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When the Crust Crumbles

On April 26, 1900, physicist and seismologist Charles Francis Richter was born. A Californian intrigued by earthquakes and the waves of energy they release, he worked with Beno Gutenberg, a world authority on Earth’s interior physics and the man who proved Earth had a liquid core.

Richter invented the first mathematical scale for measuring earthquake intensity on a seismograph that also took into account how far the instrument was from the earthquake’s point of origin. Although Richter created his scale to measure the wave energy of California earthquakes, it was soon applied to measure earthquake magnitudes in other locations around the world. His scale became so well known and so frequently used that, despite the development of newer systems of energy and wave measurement, “Richter scale” remains the name popularly used for all.

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage