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The centimeter-gram-second system (CGS) is a system of physical units. It is always the same for mechanical units, but there are several variants of electric additions. It was replaced by the MKS, or meter-kilogram-second system, which in turn was replaced by the SI system, which has the 3 base units of MKS plus the ampere, mole, candela and kelvin. This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... // Introduction The definition, agreement and practical use of units of measurement have played a crucial role in human endeavour from early ages up to this day. ... Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ... ... The ampere (symbol: A) is the SI base unit of electric current. ... The mole and its simple conversions into different units of measurements. ... The candela (symbol: cd, Latin for candle) is one of the seven SI base units. ... The kelvin (symbol: K) is the SI unit of temperature, and is one of the seven SI base units. ...

Mechanical CGS units
Dimension Unit Definition SI
length centimeter 1 cm = 10−2 m
mass gram 1 g = 10−3 kg
time second 1 s
force dyne 1 dyn = 1 g·cm/s² = 10−5 N
energy erg 1 erg = 1 g·cm²/s² = 10−7 J
power erg per second 1 erg/s = 1 g·cm²/s³ = 10−7 W
pressure barye 1 Ba = 1 dyn/cm² = 1 g/(cm·s²) = 10−1 Pa
viscosity poise 1 P = 1 g/(cm·s) = 10−1 Pa·s

The system goes back to a proposal made in 1832 by the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and was in 1874 extended by the British physicists James Clerk Maxwell and William Thomson with a set of electromagnetic units. The sizes (order of magnitude) of many CGS units turned out to be inconvenient for practical purposes, therefore the CGS system never gained wide general use outside the field of electrodynamics and was gradually superseded internationally starting in the 1880s but not to a significant extent until the mid-20th century by the more practical MKS (meter-kilogram-second) system, which led eventually to the modern SI standard units. In general English usage, length (symbols: l, L) is one particular instance of distance: an objects length is its extent along its longest dimension. ... A centimetre (US: centimeter) is a factor of the SI unit of length: there are one hundred centimeters in the base unit of measure, the metre. ... Mass is a property of a physical object that quantifies the amount of matter and energy it contains. ... The gram or gramme, symbol g, is a unit of mass. ... A pocket watch. ... Look up second in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In physics, a net force acting on a body causes that body to accelerate; that is, to change its velocity. ... In physics, the dyne is a unit of force specified in the centimetre-gram-second (cgs) system of units, symbol dyn. One dyne is equal to exactly 10-5 newtons. ... The newton (symbol: N) is the SI unit of force. ... An erg is the unit of energy and mechanical work in the centimetre-gram-second (CGS) system of units, symbol erg. Its name is derived from the Greek word meaning work. The erg is a quite small unit, equal to a force of one dyne exerted for a distance of... The joule (symbol: J) is the SI unit of energy, or work with base units of kg·m²/s² (N·m). ... In physics, power (symbol: P) is the amount of work done per unit of time. ... The watt (symbol: W) is the SI derived unit of power. ... Pressure (symbol: p) is the force per unit area acting on a surface in a direction perpendicular to that surface. ... The barye (symbol: Ba) is the centimetre-gram-second (CGS) unit of pressure. ... The pascal (symbol: Pa) is the SI unit of pressure. ... The pitch drop experiment at the University of Queensland. ... The poise (P) is the cgs unit of viscosity, 1 P = 1 g·cm-1·s-1 The SI analog is 1 pascal second (Pa·s) = 1 kg·m-1·s-1 = 10 P. It is named after Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille. ... The pascal second (symbol Pa·s) is the SI unit of dynamic viscosity. ... 1832 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... (30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and scientist of profound genius who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, magnetism, astronomy and optics. ... 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematical physicist, born in Edinburgh. ... The Right Honourable William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, GCVO, OM, PC, PRS (26 June 1824–17 December 1907) was a Irish-Scottish mathematical physicist and engineer, an outstanding leader in the physical sciences of the 19th century. ... // Events and Trends Technology Development and commercial production of electric lighting Development and commercial production of gasoline-powered automobile by Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler and Maybach First commercial production and sales of phonographs and phonograph recordings. ... Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ...


CGS units are still occasionally encountered in older technical literature, especially in the United States in the fields of electrodynamics and astronomy. SI units were chosen such that electromagnetic equations concerning spheres contain 4π, those concerning coils contain 2π and those dealing with straight wires lack π entirely, which was the most convenient choice for electrical-engineering applications. In those fields where formulas concerning spheres dominate (for example, astronomy), it has been argued that the CGS system can be notationally slightly more convenient. Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field, encompassing all of space, composed of the electric field and the magnetic field. ... Radio telescopes are among many different tools used by astronomers Astronomy (Greek: αστρονομία = άστρον + νόμος, astronomia = astron + nomos, literally, law of the stars) is the science of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere, such as stars, planets, comets, auroras, galaxies, and the cosmic background radiation. ... Radio telescopes are among many different tools used by astronomers Astronomy (Greek: αστρονομία = άστρον + νόμος, astronomia = astron + nomos, literally, law of the stars) is the science of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere, such as stars, planets, comets, auroras, galaxies, and the cosmic background radiation. ...


Starting from the international adoption of the MKS standard in the 1940s and the SI standard in the 1960s, the technical use of CGS units has gradually disappeared worldwide, in the United States more slowly than in the rest of the world. CGS units are today no longer accepted by the house styles of most scientific journals, textbook publishers and standards bodies. Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ...


The units gram and centimetre remain useful within the SI, especially for instructional physics and chemistry experiments, where they match well the small scales of table-top setups. In these uses, they are occasionally referred to as the system of “LAB” units. However, where derived units are needed, the SI ones are generally used and taught today instead of the CGS ones. Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ...


Electromagnetic units

While for most units the difference between cgs and SI are just powers of 10, the differences in electromagnetic units are considerable; so much so that formulas for physical laws need to be changed depending on what system of units one uses. In SI, electric current is defined via the magnetic force it exerts and charge is then defined as current multiplied with time. In one variant of the cgs system, electrostatic units (esu), charge is defined via the force it exerts on other charges, and current is then defined as charge per time. One consequence of this approach is that Coulomb’s law does not contain a constant of proportionality. Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field, encompassing all of space, which exerts a force on those particles that possess the property of electric charge, and is in turn affected by the presence and motion of such particles. ... In electricity, current refers to electric current, which is the flow of electric charge. ... In physics, magnetism is one of the phenomena by which materials exert an attractive or repulsive force on other materials. ... Charge is a word with many different meanings. ... The statcoulomb (statC) or franklin (Fr) or electrostatic unit of charge (esu) is the physical unit for electrical charge used in the centimetre-gram-second (cgs) electrostatic system of units. ... In physics, Coulombs law is an inverse-square law indicating the magnitude and direction of electrostatic force that one stationary, electrically charged object of small dimensions (ideally, a point source) exerts on another. ... This article is about proportionality, the mathematical relation. ...


While the proportional constants in cgs simplify theoretical calculations, they have the disadvantage that the units in cgs are hard to define through experiment. SI on the other hand starts with a unit of current, the ampere which is easy to determine through experiment, but which requires that the constants in the electromagnetic equations take on odd forms. Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ... The ampere (symbol: A) is the SI base unit of electric current. ...


Ultimately, relating electromagnetic phenomena to time, length and mass relies on the forces observed on charges. There are two fundamental laws in action: Coulomb’s law, which describes the electrostatic force between charges, and Ampère’s law, which describes the electrodynamic (or electromagnetic) force between currents. Each of these includes one proportionality constant, k1 or k2. The static definition of magnetic fields yields a third proportionality constant, α. The first two constants are related to each other through the speed of light, c (the ratio of k1 over k2 must equal c2). In physics, Coulombs law is an inverse-square law indicating the magnitude and direction of electrostatic force that one stationary, electrically charged object of small dimensions (ideally, a point source) exerts on another. ... An electric current produces a magnetic field. ... The word proportionality may have one of a number of meanings: In mathematics, proportionality is a mathematical relation between two quantities. ... Cherenkov effect in a swimming pool nuclear reactor. ...


We then have several choices:

k1 k2 α yields
1 c−1 1 electrostatic cgs system
c2 1 1 electromagnetic cgs system
1 c−2 c−1 Gaussian cgs system
(4·π·ε0)−1 µ0·(4·π)−1 1 SI

There were at various points in time about half a dozen systems of electromagnetic units in use, most based on the cgs system. These include electromagnetic units (emu, chosen such that the Biot-Savart law has no constant of proportionality), Gaussian, and Heaviside-Lorentz units. A key virtue of the Gaussian CGS system is that electric and magnetic fields have the same units, both ε0 and μ0 are 1, and the only dimensional constant appearing in the equations is c, the speed of light. The Heaviside-Lorentz system has these desirable properties as well, but is a "rationalized" system (as is SI) in which the charges and fields are defined in such a way that there are many fewer factors of appearing in the formulas, and it is in Heaviside-Lorentz units that the Maxwell equations take their simplest possible form. CGS is an acronym for centimetre-gram-second. ... The Biot-Savart law is a physical law with applications in both electromagnetics and aerodynamics. ... CGS is an acronym for centimetre-gram-second. ... Maxwells equations are the set of four equations, attributed to James Clerk Maxwell, that describe the behavior of both the electric and magnetic fields, as well as their interactions with matter. ...


Further complicating matters is the fact that some physicists and engineers in the United States use hybrid units, such as volts per centimeter for electric field. However, this also can be seen more as an application of the previously described "LAB" units usage since electric fields near small circuit devices would be measured across distances on the order of magnitude of 1 centimetre. Bold text Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. ... Josephson junction array chip developed by NIST as a standard volt. ... A centimetre (US: centimeter) is a factor of the SI unit of length: there are one hundred centimeters in the base unit of measure, the metre. ...

Dimension Unit Definition SI
charge electrostatic unit of charge, franklin, statcoulomb 1 esu = 1 statC = 1 Fr = √(g·cm³/s²) = 4.8032 × 10−10 C
electric potential statvolt 1 statV = 1 erg/esu = 299.792458 V
electric field 1 statV/cm = 1 dyn/esu = 2.99792458 × 104 V/m
magnetic field strength H oersted 1 Oe = 1000/(4π) A/m = 79.577 A/m
magnetic flux maxwell 1 M = 1 G·cm² = 10−8 Wb
magnetic induction B gauss 1 G = 1 M/cm² = 10−4 T
resistance 1 s/cm = 8.988 × 1011 Ω
resistivity 1 s = 8.988 × 109 Ω·m
capacitance 1 cm = 1.113 × 10−12 F
inductance 1 s²/cm = 8.988 × 1011 H

The mantissas derived from the speed of light are more precisely 299792458, 333564095198152, 1112650056, and 89875517873681764. Electric charge is a fundamental conserved property of some subatomic particles, which determines their electromagnetic interactions. ... The statcoulomb (statC) or franklin (Fr) or electrostatic unit of charge (esu) is the physical unit for electrical charge used in the centimetre-gram-second (cgs) electrostatic system of units. ... The coulomb (symbol: C) is the SI unit of electric charge. ... Electric potential is the potential energy per unit of charge associated with a static (time-invariant) electric field, also called the electrostatic potential, typically measured in volts. ... The statvolt is the unit of voltage and electrical potential used in the cgs system of units. ... Josephson junction array chip developed by NIST as a standard volt. ... In physics, an electric field or E-field is an effect produced by an electric charge (or a time-varying magnetic field) that exerts a force on charged objects in the field. ... In physics, a magnetic field is an entity produced by moving electric charges (electric currents) that exerts a force on other moving charges. ... The oersted is old CGS unit of magnetic field strength (or magnetic induction). ... Magnetic flux, is a measure of quantity of magnetism, taking account of the strength and the extent of a magnetic field. ... The compound derived CGS unit, the maxwell, abbreviated as Mx, is the unit for the magnetic flux. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electrical potential difference (or voltage) across a conductor situated in a changing magnetic field. ... The gauss, abbreviated as G, is the cgs unit of magnetic flux density or magnetic induction (B), named after the German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss. ... The tesla (symbol T) is the SI derived unit of magnetic flux density (or magnetic induction). ... Electrical resistance is a measure of the degree to which an electrical component opposes the passage of current. ... The ohm (symbol: Ω) is the SI unit of electric resistance. ... // Headline text POOP!! Danny Hornsby (also known as Gnome) is a measure indicating how strongly a Gnome can opposes the flow of electric current. ... // Definition Capacitance is a measure of the amount of electric charge stored (or separated) for a given electric potential. ... The farad (symbol: F) is the SI unit of capacitance. ... Inductance (or electric inductance) is a measure of the amount of magnetic flux produced for a given electric current. ... An inductor. ... The significand (also coefficient or, more informally, mantissa) is the part of a floating-point number that contains its significant digits. ... Cherenkov effect in a swimming pool nuclear reactor. ...


A centimeter of capacitance is the capacitance between a sphere of radius 1 cm in vacuum and infinity. The capacitance C between two spheres of radii R and r is

.

By taking the limit as R goes to infinity we see C equals r.


See also


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CGS Infotech Ltd. is a global information technology and media company serving thousands of customers in 40 countries since 1995.
CGS Infotech’s mission is to “Create a New Level of Success” for its clients and partners worldwide.
CGS Infotech is a debt-free, profit-making public limited company with state of the art infrastructure.
Units: CGS and MKS (647 words)
When we say, for example, that the dyne is the CGS unit of force, this determines its definition: it is the force which accelerates a mass of one gram at the rate of one centimeter per second per second.
The MKS unit of force, the newton, is the force which accelerates a mass of one kilogram at the rate of one meter per second per second.
The ratio between a CGS unit and the corresponding MKS unit is usually a power of 10.
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