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

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

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

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. A...

  • 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 ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

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