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Richter Scale Day

Updated on October 22, 2014
Charles Richter
Charles Richter | Source

April 26 is the birthday of Charles Richter who invented the Richter Scale

For those not familiar with the Richter Scale, it compares the size of earthquakes. For those who live in earthquake areas, it is a very familiar term and after every earthquake, we all wait to see what the magnitude of the earthquake was.

Charles Richter (April 26, 1900 - September 30, 1985) spent his entire career at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a seismologist. Along with Beno Gutenberg, the Richter Scale was invented in 1935. Richter gets the credit but all reports say they created it together.

Science Stuff

I can guess pretty accurately the magnitude of an earthquake that I feel because I have lots of experience. However, the designers of the Richter Scale knew their math and I don't which makes me trying to explain the formula almost impossible. Here is where you can go to find the actual formula and a lot more information on the process.

I may not get the math but I do know the magnitude as it applies to me.

This actually makes sense and it is the most popular diagram on the Internet. The largest earthquake I remember was a 7.5 and I was only three. Earthquakes make that big of an impression and I remember every minute.
This actually makes sense and it is the most popular diagram on the Internet. The largest earthquake I remember was a 7.5 and I was only three. Earthquakes make that big of an impression and I remember every minute.

Richter Scale Origin

How things work: How does the Richter Scale work?

Bill Nye the Science Guy - Earthquakes

Supply kit that is easy to store

Mayday Industries Earthquake Kit 4 Person Deluxe Home Honey Bucket Survival Emergency
Mayday Industries Earthquake Kit 4 Person Deluxe Home Honey Bucket Survival Emergency
We collect our supplies and rotate them on a regular basis but still have a kit. It goes with us on road trips but in an emergency at home, it would certainly supplement what we already have. Even if you don't live in earthquake country, being prepared is never a waste of time or money.

Richter Scale Day : Word Search Worksheets Builder

Clicking on the link below will take you to the Soft Schools site that has a word search for the Richter Scale. It introduces children to vocabulary words that are earthquake and Richter Scale related.













The debate rages on

San Francisco 1906
San Francisco 1906

While I would never live in tornado alley, those who live there say they wouldn't live here with the chance of earthquakes. I find this fascinating so I am curious to see how this really turns out. We all know there are no safe areas. There are tornado's, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Even those who don't deal with those have other issues like blizzards. This is San Francisco in 1906.

Where would you prefer to live?

See results

Emergency supplies to consider

Quakehold! 88111 Museum Putty Neutral
Quakehold! 88111 Museum Putty Neutral
We like this. There are a lot of things in our house that would fall and break. This is simple and easy to use.

Seismograph Machine


Every time there is an earthquake be it small or large, the first thing our local news shows is their Seismograph. It is so familiar that we scarcely look at it anymore but as children it was fascinating. The Griffith Park Observatory had one when I was small too and we would jump on the floor to make it move.


Real-time Seismogram Displays

USGS is my favorite website when it comes to anything earthquake. As I mentioned before, it is bookmarked for instant access. Today, the drum-type seismographs has been replaced by more modern technology, but the concept is the same.

Happy Birthday to Charles Richter - Leave a comment and wish him happy birthday too

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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      5 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, Enjoyed reading your hub. I still find the Richter scale useful and very interesting. I already lived in tornado ally and now live in Hurricane state.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Congratulations on your Purple Star for this lens - a great and well deserved honour. Blessings.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      9 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      When I saw the heading for this, I laughed. We always compared our burps to what they'd be on the Richter scale. What can I say? I grew up in a small town, nothing else to do!

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 

      9 years ago from Ireland

      Interesting read, and belated birthday wishes to a clever mathematician and seismologist. Charles Richters formula would be complete double-dutch to most of us, I guess.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 

      9 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      What a neat, informative lens. Congratulations on your purple star, and on being included in the Best of Squidoo Silly Celebrations in April. Blessed.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      9 years ago

      Glad I read this article - hats off to Chas Richter, and to you, too! Great lens!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      9 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I learned something because I had never heard of Charles Richter - nice, informative lens! :>)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I am glad that this information is available it will help so many people to decide where they would rather live to minimize experience of natural disasters.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Happy Birthday, Charles!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I forgot to say, "Happy Birthday Charles Rickter"...and thank you from the ends of the earth!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Now how did I miss Richter Scale Day? Thank you for brining this important day to our attention and congratulations on being honored for your efforts on the Best of Squidoo - Silly Celebrations in April, how wonderful for you!


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