Weber (unit)

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Unit system SI derived unit
Symbol Wb 
Named after Wilhelm Eduard Weber
In SI base units: kgm2s−2A−1

In physics, the weber /ˈwbər/[1] (symbol: Wb) is the SI unit of magnetic flux. A flux density of one Wb/m2 (one weber per square metre) is one tesla.

The weber is named after the German physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber (1804–1891).


SI multiples for weber (Wb)
Submultiples Multiples
Value SI symbol Name Value SI symbol Name
10−1 Wb dWb deciweber 101 Wb daWb decaweber
10−2 Wb cWb centiweber 102 Wb hWb hectoweber
10−3 Wb mWb milliweber 103 Wb kWb kiloweber
10−6 Wb µWb microweber 106 Wb MWb megaweber
10−9 Wb nWb nanoweber 109 Wb GWb gigaweber
10−12 Wb pWb picoweber 1012 Wb TWb teraweber
10−15 Wb fWb femtoweber 1015 Wb PWb petaweber
10−18 Wb aWb attoweber 1018 Wb EWb exaweber
10−21 Wb zWb zeptoweber 1021 Wb ZWb zettaweber
10−24 Wb yWb yoctoweber 1024 Wb YWb yottaweber
Common multiples are in bold face.

The weber may be defined in terms of Faraday's law, which relates a changing magnetic flux through a loop to the electric field around the loop. A change in flux of one weber per second will induce an electromotive force of one volt (produce an electric potential difference of one volt across two open-circuited terminals).


Weber (unit of magnetic flux) — The weber is the magnetic flux that, linking a circuit of one turn, would produce in it an electromotive force of 1 volt if it were reduced to zero at a uniform rate in 1 second.[2]

The weber is commonly expressed in a multitude of other units:

where Wb = weber,
V = volt,
T = tesla,
J = joule,
m = meter,
s = second,
A = ampere,
H = henry,
Mx = maxwell.

This SI unit is named after Wilhelm Eduard Weber. As with every International System of Units (SI) unit named for a person, the first letter of its symbol is upper case (Wb). However, when an SI unit is spelled out in English, it should always begin with a lower case letter (weber)—except in a situation where any word in that position would be capitalized, such as at the beginning of a sentence or in material using title case. Note that "degree Celsius" conforms to this rule because the "d" is lowercase.— Based on The International System of Units, section 5.2.


In 1861, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (known as "The BA"[3]) established a committee under William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) to study electrical units.[4] In a February 1902 manuscript, with handwritten notes of Oliver Heaviside, Giovanni Giorgi proposed a set of rational units of electromagnetism including the weber, noting that "the product of the volt into the second has been called the weber by the B. A."[5]

The International Electrotechnical Commission began work on terminology in 1909 and established Technical Committee 1 in 1911, its oldest established committee, "to sanction the terms and definitions used in the different electrotechnical fields and to determine the equivalence of the terms used in the different languages."[6][7]

It was not until 1927 that TC1 dealt with the study of various outstanding problems concerning electrical and magnetic quantities and units. Discussions of a theoretical nature were opened at which eminent electrical engineers and physicists considered whether magnetic field strength and magnetic flux density were in fact quantities of the same nature. As disagreement continued, the IEC decided on an effort to remedy the situation. It instructed a task force to study the question in readiness for the next meeting.[8]

In 1930,[8] TC1 decided that the magnetic field strength (H) is of a different nature from the magnetic flux density (B), and took up the question of naming the units for these fields and related quantities, among them the integral of magnetic flux density.

In 1935, TC 1 recommended names for several electrical units, including the weber for the practical unit of magnetic flux (and the maxwell for the CGS unit).[8][9]

It was decided to extend the existing series of practical units into a complete comprehensive system of physical units, the recommendation being adopted in 1935 "that the system with four fundamental units proposed by Professor Giorgi be adopted subject to the fourth fundamental unit being eventually selected". This system was given the designation of "Giorgi system".[10]

Also in 1936 , TC1 passed responsibility for "electric and magnetic magnitudes and units" to the new TC24. This "led eventually to the universal adoption of the Giorgi system, which unified electromagnetic units with the MKS dimensional system of units, the whole now known simply as the SI system (Système International d’unités)."[11]

In 1938, TC24 "recommended as a connecting link [from mechanical to electrical units] the permeability of free space with the value of µ0 = 4π×107 H/m. This group also recognized that any one of the practical units already in use (ohm, ampere, volt, henry, farad, coulomb, and weber), could equally serve as the fourth fundamental unit.[8] "After consultation, the ampere was adopted as the fourth unit of the Giorgi system in Paris in 1950."[10]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ In America also /ˈwɛbər/.
    "weber (main entry is American English, Collins World English (further down) is British)". 
  2. ^ "CIPM, 1946: Resolution 2 / Definitions of Electrical Units". International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) Resolutions. International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). 1946. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  3. ^ "The BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science)". 
  4. ^ Frary, Mark. "The world of electricity: 1820-2016". International Electrotechnical Commission. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  5. ^ Giorgi, Giovanni (February 1902). "Rational Units of Electromagnetism" (Manuscript with handwritten notes by Oliver Heaviside). p. 9. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  6. ^ "IEC Technical Committee 1". International Electrotechnical Commission. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  7. ^ "Strategic Policy Statement, IEC Technical Committee on Terminology" (PDF). International Electrotechnical Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  8. ^ a b c d "The role of the IEC / Work on quantities and units". History of the SI. International Electrotechnical Commission. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  9. ^ "Summary: Electrical Units". IEC History. International Electrotechnical Commission. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
    This page incorrectly states that the units were established in 1930, since that year, TC 1 decided "that the question of names to be allocated to magnetic units should not be considered until general agreement had been reached on their definitions" [1]
  10. ^ a b Ruppert, Louis. "IEC History 1906–1956: Brief History of the International Electrotechnical Commission" (PDF). International Electrotechnical Commission. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  11. ^ Raeburn, Anthony. "IEC technical committee creation: the first half-century (1906-1949)". International Electrotechnical Commission. Retrieved 2008-04-29.