- 1 statC = 3.3356 × 10
^{-10}C

In the cgs system, electrical charge is a fundamental quantity defined via the electrostatic force (as will be described below); in the SI system, electrical current is fundamental and defined via the magnetric force while electrical charge is a derived quantity.

The statcoulomb is defined as follows: if two objects each carry a charge of 1 statC and are 1cm apart, they will repel each other with a force of 1 dyne. As a result, if all quantities are measured in the cgs system, then Coulomb's law describing the force *F* between two charges *q*_{1} and *q*_{2} a distance *r* apart takes the simple form

*F*=*q*_{1}*q*_{2}/*r*^{2}

Note that in order for the above formula to work, the dimension of statcoulombs must be [mass]^{1/2} [length]^{3/2} [time]^{-1}. This is different from the dimension of coulombs which accounts for the fact that the factor *k* mentioned above is *not* dimensionless.

The coulomb is an extremely large charge rarely encountered in electrostatics, while the statcoulomb is closer to everyday charges.