Gauss's law

foundational law of electromagnetism

Gauss's law (or Gauss's flux theorem) is a law of physics. The law is about the relationship between electric charge and the resulting electric field. In words, Gauss's law states that:

The net electric flux through any closed surface is equal to ​1ε times the net electric charge enclosed within that closed surface.[1][2]

The law was created by Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1835. However, it was not published until 1867. It is one of the four Maxwell's equations on classical electrodynamics. The other three are Gauss's law for magnetism, Faraday's law of induction, and Ampère's circuital law.


  1. A closed surface is one which is limited, but has no boundary. A sphere, for example.
  2. Serway, Raymond A. (1996). Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, 4th edition. pp. 687.

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