Browse Definitions:
Definition

small-unit metric system or centimeter-gram-second (cgs) system of units

The small-unit metric system (or more formally, the centimeter-gram-second (cgs) system of units ) is based on three fundamental units: the centimeter (cm), which quantifies displacement , the gram (g), which quantifies mass , and the second (s or sec), which quantifies time .

The small-unit metric system is so-called because one centimeter is equal to 0.01 meter (10 -2 m), and one gram is equal to 0.001 kilogram (10 -3 kg). The cgs system, like the metric system , was originally developed by scientists who were frustrated with the English (foot-pound-second) system. The cgs and metric system units of displacement and mass lend themselves neatly to calculations in scientific notation, while English units generally do not. Time remains somewhat messy in all systems; there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a mean solar day.

The Standard International ( SI ) System of Units has officially supplanted the small-unit metric system (as well as the metric system). But it is good to have passing familiarity with the small-unit metric system, because that scheme is still used by some astronomers and physicists, and many older scientific books and papers were written with a preference for it. Today's SI System provides formal definitions for the meter , the kilogram , and the second , and also specifies and defines four additional units: the kelvin for temperature, the ampere for electric current, the candela for luminous intensity, and the mole for material quantity.

Compare metric system , English system of units , and Standard International ( SI ) System of Units. Also see prefix multiplier s.

This was last updated in March 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

SearchCompliance

• risk map (risk heat map)

A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

• internal audit (IA)

An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

• pure risk (absolute risk)

Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

• FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

• cryptanalysis

Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

• Trojan horse (computing)

In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

• HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act of 2009

The HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act of 2009 is legislation that was created to ...

• Epic Systems

Epic Systems is one of the largest providers of health information technology, used primarily by large U.S. hospitals and health ...

• accountable care organization (ACO)

An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

• business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

• call tree

A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

• personal cloud storage (PCS)

Personal cloud storage (PCS) enables users to store data, photos, music, videos and other files on a local network-attached ...

• cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

• wear leveling

Wear leveling is a process that is designed to extend the life of solid-state storage devices.

SearchSolidStateStorage

• hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close