# centimeter, centimetre

## 1

In SI and previous versions of the metric system, a unit of length, = 0.01 meter.

## 2

A unit of electric capacitance, 19th – 20th centuries:

### sources

1

In the electrostatic system a charged body has unit capacity if its potential is one E.S.U. of potential when it is given a charge of one E.S.U. This unit is called the centimetre.

Admiralty Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy, volume 1, Magnetism and Electricity.
London: H.M.S.O., 1938.
Section 168. Bolding is in the original.

2

The cgs electrostatic unit is sometimes called the “centimeter.” This has been found convenient because the capacity of a system is directly proportional to a length, and capacity has the dimensions of length in the electrostatic system with dimensions of dielectric constant suppressed. It is a case of using a word in two entirely different meanings, length and capacity being different physical quantities.

[U. S.] Department of Commerce.
Circular of the Bureau of Standards No. 60.
Electric Units and Standards.
Washington: U.S.G.P.O., 1916.
Page 44.

## 3

A unit of electric inductance, 19th – 20th centuries:

### sources

For small inductances the millihenry and microhenry are usually used. The cgs electromagnetic unit (= 0.001 microhenry) is also used and is sometimes called the “centimeter.” Inductance has the dimensions of length in the electromagnetic system with dimensions of permeability suppressed. The use of “centimeter” is justified in the same way as the use of this name is justified for the cgs electrostatic unit of capacity and the same objections apply. The use of the same name for units of several different physical quantities, particularly when more than one occur in the same equation, is unsatisfactory. For instance, inductance and capacity both occur in formulas commonly used in radiotelegraphy and it tends to cause confusion when both are measured in “centimeters.”

[U. S.] Department of Commerce.
Circular of the Bureau of Standards No. 60.
Electric Units and Standards.
Washington: U.S.G.P.O., 1916.
Page 45.

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