General Data > Gaussian Units
Gaussian units are a system of physical units and are the most common of the several electromagnetic unit systems based on "cgs" (centimetregramsecond) units.
This system may also be referred to as the Gaussian unit system, Gaussiancgs units, or often just cgs units.
In modern science, the Gaussian system has largely been superseded by SI units and in schools in the UK, Gaussian units are virtually unused. However the cgs systems may be used in older textbooks or reference manuals, especially from the USA.
The tables below show the units of the Gaussian system.
Base Units of the Gaussian System
Quantity 
Unit 
Symbol 
length 
centimetre 
cm 
mass 
gram 
g 
time 
second 
s 
Derived Units of the Gaussian System with Special Names
Quantity 
Name 
Symbol 
In terms of… 
other units 
base units 
acceleration 
galileo 
Gal 
dyn/g 
cm s −2 
force 
dyne 
dyn 

cm g s −2 
pressure, stress 
barye 
Ba 
dyn/cm 2 
cm −1 g s −2 
energy, work, heat 
erg 
erg 
dyn cm 
cm 2 g s −2 
dynamic viscosity 
poise 
P 
Ba s 
cm −1 g s −1 
kinematic viscosity 
stokes 
St 

cm 2 s −1 
wave number 
kayser 
? 

cm −1 
Electrostatic Units of the Gaussian System
Quantity 
Name 
Symbol 
In terms of… 
other units 
base units 
electric charge 
statcoulomb* 


(cm 3 g s −2 ) ½ 
electric field 


statvolt/cm 

electric potential 
statvolt 

erg/statcoulomb 

electric current 
statampere 

statcoulomb/s 

resistance 
statohm 

statamp/statvolt 
cm −1 s 
conductance 
statmho 

1/statohm 
cm s −1 
capacitance 
statfarad 


cm 
magnetic field 
stattesla 



magnetic flux 
statweber 



inductance 
stathenry 



Electromagnetic Units of the Gaussian System
Quantity 
Name 
Symbol 
In terms of… 
other units 
base units 
magnetic field (B) 
gauss 
G 


magnetic field (H) 
oersted 
Oe 


magnetic flux 
maxwell 
Mw 


magnetomotive force 
gilbert 
Gb 


inductance 
abhenry 



electric charge 
abcoulomb 



electric current 
abampere 



electric potential 
abvolt 



resistance 
abohm 



conductance 
abmho 



capacitance 
abfarad 



Related Links
SI Units