system of units

Sometimes called the symmetrical system; its only connection with Gauss is the name. The electric units come from the cgs electrostatic system and the magnetic units from the cgs electromagnetic system.

A characteristic of this system is that the velocity of light appears in many of the equations relating electric and magnetic units. By Maxwell's equations, the product of the permittivity of free space and the permeability of free space is the reciprocal of the speed of light (*c*).
As a result, taking the speed of light in centimeters per second, the ratio
between a unit in the cgs electrostatic system and the
corresponding unit in the cgs electromagnetic system is *c*, ¹⁄_{c}, or some power of *c*.

If you found this page interesting, you might also enjoy learning about another system of units:

- British gravitational system
- centimeter-gram-second system (cgs)
- centimeter-gram-second-biot system
- centimeter-gram-second electromagnetic system
- centimeter-gram-second-franklin system
- centimeter-gram-second electrostatic system
- foot-pound-second system
- International system of electrical and magnetic units
- meter—kilogram-force—second system
- meter-kilogram-ohm-second system
- meter-kilogram-second system
- millimeter-milligram-second system
- SI (the modern "metric system")
- Système Usuel

Are you interested in properties of systems of units?

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Last revised: 8 May 2001.