Charles Richter, American seismologist

Charles Richter, American seismologist

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Charles Francis Richter (1900-1985), American seismologist. Richter, along with Beno Gutenberg, was co-creator of the famous Richter earthquake scale that is named after him. The scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake, ranging from 1-9. An increase of one unit equates to a 30-fold increase in earthquake energy. This scale was devised in 1932, and has been modified several times since. Richter, a keen naturist, was educated at Stanford University, California. He started his PhD at Caltech, California, and later spent most of his career there (from 1937 onwards), becoming Professor of Seismology in 1952.

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