Google celebrated the birthday of Inge Lehmann, a scientist instrumental in advancing the understanding of earthquakes, with a Google Doodle on Wednesday, May 13.

Who Is Inge Lehmann?

Lehmann, born in Denmark in 1888, would have been 127. A scientist, Lehmann is known for discovering that the Earth has two cores: a small inner core and a larger outer core.

Though she was born at a time where women had limited access to higher education, she gained admission to Denmark’s first co-ed school in the early 20th Century and graduated with a master’s degree in mathematics by 1920. By 1929, Lehmann was the head of the Danish Geodetic Instutute’s seismology department. Around that same time, Lehmann was studying earthquakes in New Zealand when she noticed that P-waves (primary waves) recorded by seismographs appeared to bounce off something, creating a higher degree of seismic activity. Lehmann determined that the high frequency of seismic activity must be determined by an inner core of the Earth made from different materials than the outer core. The Doodle, designed by Kevin Laughlin illustrates the composition of the Earth’s core that Lehmann helped us understand.

Over the course of her career, Lehmann founded the Danish Geophysical Society in the 1940s, was named president of the European Seismological Commission and became the first woman to be awarded the Medal of the Seismological Society of America in 1977. She died in Copenhagen in 1993 at the age of 104.

The Doodle was timed to coincide with an official press release from Google, in which the company promised to increase diversity within its ranks and detailed their “diversity strategy.”

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