About Charles Francis Richter:
Charles Francis Richter is most famous as the creator of the Richter magnitude scale which, until the development of the moment magnitude scale in 1979, quantified the size of earthquakes. Inspired by Kiyoo Wadati's 1928 paper on shallow and deep earthquakes, Richter first used the scale in 1935 after developing it in collaboration with Beno Gutenberg; both worked at California Institute of Technology. The quote "logarithmic plots are a device of the devil" is attributed to Richter.
Incidentally, the usual designation of the magnitude scale to my name does less than justice to the great part that Dr. Gutenberg played in extending the scale to apply to earthquakes in all parts of the world.Charles Francis Richter
For example, some stars put out large amounts of energy in the infrared part of the spectrum, so that this can produce a different relative magnitude rating than using light energy from the middle of the spectrum.Charles Francis Richter
From here, it becomes an engineering problem; the engineer considers the ground motion that will occur and evaluates the requirements of the proposed structure in the light of the local foundation conditions.Charles Francis Richter
I repeatedly have to correct this belief. In a sense, magnitude involves steps of 10 because every increase of one magnitude represents a tenfold amplification of the ground motion. But there is no 'scale of 10' in the sense of an upper limit.Charles Francis Richter
We would have been happy if we could have assigned just three categories, large, medium, and small; the point is, we wanted to avoid personal judgments. It actually turned out to be quite a finely tuned scale.Charles Francis Richter