Inge Lehmann: Danish Seismologist Honored In Quaking Google Doodle

Inge Lehmann, a Danish Seismologist and geophysicist that discovered that the Earth has an inner and outer core, is being honored Wednesday by Google with an animated Google doodle on what would be her 127th birthday.

The latest animated Google doodle remembers Inge Lehmann, who is an inspiration to all young women who dream of becoming a scientist, a profession that is oftentimes dominated by men.

According to Time, Inge Lehmann was born on May 13, 1888, in Copenhagen, Denmark, and studied mathematics at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark, and the University of Cambridge, in England.

In 1928, Inge Lehmann passed her exam in geodesy and accepted a position as state geodesist and head of the department of seismology at the Geodetical Institute of Denmark.

In 1936, Inge Lehmann theorized from existing seismic data that there is an inner core in the Earth with physical properties distinct from the outer core’s and that the Earth’s core is not a single molten sphere.

According to The Guardian:

“Inge Lehmann made her discovery by analyzing P-waves (primary waves), a high velocity seismic wave that is the first to be recorded by seismographs because it travels through the earth’s core more quickly.

“In 1929 Lehmann was studying a large earthquake near New Zealand and observed that some P-waves seemed to bounce off a boundary. This caused a higher frequency of seismic activity within a ‘shadow zone.’ She attributed the phenomenon to an inner core made of different materials. Proven correct, the shadow zone today called the ‘Lehmann Discontinuity.'”

Google had this to say about Inge Lehman:

“Inge used deduction and evidence to discover something unseeable. Today’s doodle sheds light on her powerful but invisible discovery. Doodler Kevin Laughlin helps us experience the gift Inge illuminated for the world by revealing it as a glowing orb. Not all of his early drafts looked the same, but the Earth’s inner core glowed at the centre of each.”

Inge Lehmann struggled to fit into the science community at the beginning of the 20th Century, which was predominately a man’s world.

“You should know how many incompetent men I had to compete with — in vain.”

Any young girls feel inspired by the Google doodle devoted to Inge Lehmann?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]