- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 22 Oct 2019
In terms of physics, a moment is the product of a physical quantity and a certain distance, and is usually defined with respect to a fixed reference point. Generally, a moment can be produced by any physical quantity that is multiplied by distance, with commonly-used quantities including force, mass, electric charge, and so on.
The moment of force that acts on an object, known as ‘torque’, is a measure of its tendency to cause the object to rotate about a specific point or axis, and is the product of the force and its distance from the point or axis.
Moment (M) = force (F) x distance (d)
For a moment to develop, the force must act in such a manner that the object begins (or would begin) to twist; in other words, when the force does not have an equal and opposite force directly along the line of action. For example, if two people are stood on opposite sides of a door and both are pushing on it with an equal force then there is equilibrium. If one person stops pushing then there would be no opposing force and the person still pushing would have created a moment of force.
The fixed reference point is also known as the ‘centre of moments’. This can be the actual point about which rotation occurs due to the force, or the axis about which the force may be considered as causing rotation.
A bending moment (BM) is a measure of the bending effect that can occur when an external force is applied to a structural element. This concept is important in structural engineering as it is can be used to calculate where, and how much bending may occur when forces are applied.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Revised guide to competition rules available.
Brick slip soffit systems and intricate brick features.
An innovative engineering approach could have had tragic consequence for NYC.
Some secrets behind how canals work.
Breaking down possible steps of pre-contract management.
ICE event includes comments from Welsh Government Minister Julie James.
How to write them and what they should include.
Designing Buildings Wiki becomes the world's first website to adopt the new knowledge standard.
Assessing the most beneficial design elements.
Exploring different types of vinyl flooring.
New Government task force will build beauty into reformed planning process.
Five outstanding aspects of the profession.