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The One Who Caught the Wave

Today is the 135th anniversary of the birth of Emil Wiechert, a German geophysicist who helped launch the field of seismology. He developed by 1900 the Wiechert seismograph, an inverted pendulum instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical ground motion. With this new device, Wiechert helped compile the first tables of travel times of earthquake waves through the Earth's interior and was one of the first scientists to propose the presence of a dense core at the Earth's center. Wiechert was a pioneer in geophysical prospecting, using artificial explosions and seismographic recordings to investigate the fine structure of the Earth's crust.