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.
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Last revised: 8 May 2001.