Gaussian System of Units

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gaussian System of Units


a system of electrical and magnetic quantities that uses the centimeter, gram, and second as its main units and in which permittivity and magnetic permeability are dimensionless quantities and are assumed to be equal to 1 for a vacuum. The units of electrical quantities in the Gaussian system of units are equal to the units of the cgs absolute electrostatic system, and the units of magnetic quantities to the units of the cgs absolute electromagnetic system, in connection with which the Gaussian unit system is often called the symmetrical cgs system. The Gaussian unit system was named in honor of K. Gauss, who in 1832 advanced the idea of devising an absolute system of units having the millimeter, the milligram, and the second as the main units, and who developed this system (together with W. Weber) for measuring magnetic quantities.


Burdun, G. D. Edinitsy fizicheskikh velichin, 4th ed. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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