# Gaussian units vs Lorentz-Heaviside units

• spaghetti3451
In summary, Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units are two different systems of units used in electromagnetism. They both measure physical quantities such as electric charge, electric field, and magnetic field, but they do so in different ways. The main difference between Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units is the way they define the fundamental constants of electromagnetism, such as the permittivity and permeability of free space. Currently, Lorentz-Heaviside units are more commonly used by scientists and engineers, as they are based on the International System of Units (SI) and are more consistent with modern theories of electromagnetism. However, Gaussian units were widely used in the past, as they
spaghetti3451
The ##e^2## of Gaussian units becomes ##\frac{e^2}{4 \pi}## in Lorentz-Heaviside units.

Is this the only difference between Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units?

## 1. What are Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units?

Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units are two different systems of units used in electromagnetism. They both measure physical quantities such as electric charge, electric field, and magnetic field, but they do so in different ways.

## 2. What is the difference between Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units?

The main difference between Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units is the way they define the fundamental constants of electromagnetism, such as the permittivity and permeability of free space. In Gaussian units, these constants are given different values, while in Lorentz-Heaviside units, they are both equal to 1. This leads to differences in the equations used to describe electromagnetic phenomena.

## 3. Which system of units is more commonly used?

Currently, Lorentz-Heaviside units are more commonly used by scientists and engineers. This is because they are based on the International System of Units (SI) and are more consistent with modern theories of electromagnetism. However, Gaussian units are still used in some fields, such as in plasma physics and astrophysics.

## 4. Why were Gaussian units used in the past?

Gaussian units were developed by Carl Friedrich Gauss in the 19th century and were widely used by scientists for many years. They were based on the concept of electrostatic units and were used to explain and measure electric and magnetic phenomena. However, with the development of modern theories and advancements in technology, Lorentz-Heaviside units have become the preferred system of units.

## 5. Can Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units be converted to each other?

Yes, Gaussian units and Lorentz-Heaviside units can be converted to each other using conversion factors. These factors are based on the values of the fundamental constants in each system of units. However, it is important to note that the equations and physical interpretations may differ when using different systems of units.

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