What is a moment and how do I calculate it?

A moment is the turning force that is exerted at right angles (perpendicular) to a pivot.

For example, on a see-saw, the moments would be the forces exerted on each end by the people sat on it. If the see-saw remains still (i.e. at equilibrium), then the sum of the moments is equal to 0.

To calculate a moment, you simply multiply the force in Newtons by the distance in Metres, meaning moments are measured in Newton-metres.

Going back to the example of a see-saw, if you are sat two metres from the pivot and weigh 70kg, then the moment would be:

2 x 70 x g=1372Nm

Here the coefficient for gravity (g) is 9.8 and is used to convert kg into N.

One thing to look out for with moments is when the force is not perpendicular initially, in this case you must make sure to multiply the force by a cos or sin coefficient as well.

James B. A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor

1 year ago

Answered by James, an A Level Maths tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£20 /hr

Simon C.

Degree: Mathematics (Bachelors) - Bath University

Subjects offered: Maths, Further Mathematics + 1 more

Further Mathematics

“I'm currently studying maths at Bath University and I've always found understanding maths a natural gift and explaining how it works is something I enjoy as it helps cement my own knowledge. Similarly I have a very logical mind and I ...”

MyTutor guarantee

£22 /hr

Yacine H.

Degree: Medicine A100 (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered: Maths, Chemistry+ 2 more

-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“Hi! My name is Yacine, and I'm a 19 year old Medical Student. I've always loved the idea of being taught in a more 'relaxed' manner, without the stress of a student - teacher relationship, and here was my chance to give this opportunit...”

MyTutor guarantee

£26 /hr

William U.

Degree: Mathematics (Masters) - Oxford, St John's College University

Subjects offered: Maths, Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics

“About MeI am a Mathematics student at Oxford University, and have a real interest in helping those who are in a similar position to my own a few years ago. I am passionate aboutscience and mathematics, and believe that a firm underst...”

About the author

£20 /hr

James B.

Degree: Mathematics (Masters) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Maths


“About MeI'm a second year student at Exeter University. I've been passionate about maths from a young age and have carried that love through my school and uni career. I hope that I can generate the same passion for my tutees as well....”

You may also like...

Posts by James

How do you differentiate X to the power of a?

How to prove that (from i=0 to n)Σi^2= (n/6)(n+1)(2n+1), by induction.

What is "Standard Form"?

What is a complex number?

Other A Level Maths questions

Sketch the curve y = (x^2 - 9)(x - 2)

Where does the geometric series formula come from?

The region R is bounded by the curve y=sqrt(x)+5/sqrt(x) the x-axis and the lines x = 3, x = 4. Find the volume generated when R is rotated through four right-angles about the x-axis. Give your answer correct to the nearest integer.

How do you solve the integral of ln(x)

View A Level Maths tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss