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The gauss (symbolized G) is the centimeter-gram-second (cgs) unit of magnetic flux density. A flux density of 1 G represents one maxwell per centimeter squared (1 Mx ­ cm -2 ). The gauss was named for the German scientist Karl Friedrich Gauss.

The gauss is used when expressing the flux density produced by magnets of the sort commonly encountered in consumer products. The flux density of the earth's magnetic field at the surface is about 1 G. In industrial electromagnetics, the tesla (T), a much larger unit, is used to express magnetic flux density. The gauss is one ten-thousandth of a tesla (1 G = 10 -4 T).

Also see magnetic field , tesla , and International System of Units .

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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