What Does a Newton-Meter Measure?

A newton-meter is a measurement for work in the SI system, which is the International System of Units. The newton-meter is normally called a joule, and it is used in technical fields, such as physics and engineering.

Work is equal to the force used to move an object a certain distance. In the SI system, force is typically measured in newtons, abbreviated “N,” and distance is in meters, abbreviated “m.” One unit of work is therefore one newton-meter or N*m. A newton-meter measures how much work is done or how much energy is expended as the object moves. The newton-meter is called a joule in honor of the English physicist James Prescott Joule.