Gauss (unit)

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Physical unit
Unit name Gauss
Unit symbol
Physical quantity (s) Magnetic flux density
system Electromagnetic CGS unit system , Gaussian CGS unit system
In SI units
In CGS units
Named after Carl Friedrich Gauss

Gauss (in Switzerland or under English-speaking influence also Gauss ; unit symbols : Gs , G ; after Carl Friedrich Gauß ) is the unit of the magnetic flux density  B in the electromagnetic CGS system and in the Gaussian CGS system :

In Germany, the Gauss has not been a legal unit in metrology since 1970 , but is still used , especially in astrophysics . Instead, the legal unit of magnetic flux density in the EU and Switzerland is Tesla , the corresponding unit in the International System of Units  (SI):


In parallel with Gauss, the unit gamma existed for the magnetic flux density :

The Gauss is often confused with the Gaussian CGS unit of the magnetic field strength  H, the Oersted , which can also be represented as in the Gaussian system of units and in electromagnetic CGS systems . The reason for this formal equality is that magnetic flux density and magnetic field strength in the above-mentioned unit systems are of the same dimension (unlike in the SI, where the two quantities always differ by the magnetic permeability or the magnetic field constant as a proportionality factor ).


"Gauss" as the name of the electromagnetic CGS unit for the magnetic field strength was specified in 1900 at the 5th  International Electricity Congress in Paris. As a result of a misunderstanding, the American delegates assumed that “Gauss” had been agreed as the name for the electromagnetic CGS unit of magnetic flux density . This ambiguity was cleared up in favor of the American view at the IEC meeting in Stockholm and Oslo in 1930 .

In 1933, at a meeting in Paris, the IEC stipulated that 1 cm −1/2 g 1/2 s −1 as the electromagnetic CGS unit of the magnetic field strength should be called Oersted.

The unit symbol "Gs" for Gauss was established by the IEC in 1935 at a conference in Scheveningen .


  1. ^ Ulrich Stille: Measuring and calculating in physics . 2nd Edition. Vieweg, Braunschweig 1961, p. 212 .