Letter: Forces of nature

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Dr A R J M Lloyd asks why we do not measure earthquakes "in Richters" but rather "on the Richter scale" (letter, 14 September). The answer is that the Richter scale, unlike temperature or displacement, is a logarithmic scale. So an earthquake of 5 on the Richter scale is 10 times more severe than one of 4. "Richters" implies a linear scale and would be deceptive.


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