Early electromagnetic seismometer

Early electromagnetic seismometer

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Credit: MAURO FERMARIELLO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early electromagnetic seismometer invented in 1856 by Luigi Palmieri. The device has mercury-filled tubes arranged along the points of the compass. During an earthquake, the movement of the mercury closed an electrical circuit. This stopped a clock and started a paper tape (upper right to bottom centre), which was marked with a pencil upon further movement of the mercury. The movement of a spring-mounted weight was also measured. Hence the time, duration, and intensity of an event were recorded. However, a true seismograph also records the waveform of the shock. Photographed in the museum at the Vesuvius Observatory, Naples, Italy, which Palmieri directed.

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Keywords: 1856, 19th century, detection, detector, device, early, earth science, earthquake, earthquakes, electrical, electromagnetic, geology, historical, history of science, instrument, luigi, mercury, output, palmieri, paper, quake, quakes, recorder, seismic measurement, seismograph, seismology, seismometer, seismoscope, tape, technology, tremor, tremors

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