Unit systemCGS-EMU
Unit ofelectric potential, electric potential difference (voltage), and electromotive force
Named afterAlessandro Volta
In CGS base unitsg1/2·cm3/2/s2 [1]:25
1 abV in ...... corresponds to ...
SI derived units10−8 volt
CGS-ESU1/ccgs statvolt[Note 1]

The abvolt (abV) is the unit of potential difference in the CGS-EMU system of units. It corresponds to 10−8 volt in the SI system and 1/ccgs statvolt3.3356×10−11 statvolt in the CGS-ESU system.[Note 1]

A potential difference of 1 abV will drive a current of one abampere through a resistance of one abohm.

In most practical applications, the volt and its multiples are preferred. The national standard in the United States [2] deprecates the use of the abvolt, suggesting the use of volts instead.

The name abvolt was introduced by Kennelly in 1903 as a short name for the long name (absolute) electromagnetic cgs unit of e.m.f. that was in use since the adoption of the cgs system in 1875.[3] The abvolt was coherent with the CGS-EMU system, in contrast to the volt, the practical unit of e.m.f. that had been adopted too in 1875.


  1. ^ a b The dimensionless constant ccgs = 2.99792458×1010 is numerically equal to the magnitude of the speed of light when the latter is expressed in cm/s.


  1. ^ Gyllenbok, Jan (2018). Encyclopaedia of Historical Metrology, Weights, and Measures: Volume 1. Birkhäuser. ISBN 978-3-319-57598-8.
  2. ^ IEEE/ASTM SI 10-2002. American National Standard for Use of the International System of Units (SI): The Modern Metric System. New York: IEEE, 30 December 2002, Section 3.3.3.
  3. ^ A.E. Kennelly (1903) "Magnetic units and other subjects that might occupy attention at the next international electrical congress" 20th Annual Convention of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1903