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Inge Lehmann: Discoverer of the Earth's Inner Core
Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann used seismic signals to study the thousands of earthquakes that occur every year and offer a brief glimpse of what is happening deep inside the Earth. This article profiles a pioneer among women and scientists. It provides an overview of the P-waves and S-waves found in seismic signals and why they are important to our understanding of the Earth's interior, the educational and career struggles Inge Lehmann faced as a woman, and how Lehmann theorized that the Earth's center consisted of both a solid inner core and an outer liquid core.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This is an excerpt from Earth: Inside and Out, edited by Edmond A. Mathez, a publication of the New Press. Copyright 2000 American Museum of Natural History.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-811
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Historical perspectives
        • Science as a human endeavor
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: American Museum of Natural History