The developer of the self-named Richter scale, a scale of measurement for the magnitude of earthquakes.
Charles Richter was born in Ohio on April 26, 1900. He studied Geology at the University of Southern California and Stanford University.
Whilst working in the seismology lab at the California Institute of Technology, Richter found that the previous method of measurement, the Mercalli scale, was too subjective for proper scientific analysis. By measuring the amplitudes of seismic waves as recorded on seismographs, he formulated his own magnitude scale.
At first, this scale of measurement was only used within CalTech. But the head of the Seismological Laboratory, Beno Gutenberg, began to apply the Richter Scale to earthquakes all over the world. In this way, the scale achieved widespread acceptance.
Charles Richter stayed with the CalTech seismology lab from 1936 until his retirement in 1970. He died on April 30, 1985 at the age of 85.