Monday, June 01, 2015

Myth busted - you can fold a piece of paper more than seven (or 8) times

Of course, with a regular A4 sheet of paper, the saying seems to be true that you can't fold it in half more than 8 times(some say seven, but many youtubers have shown they can easily fold 8 times with an A4 sheet).

Why is it so difficult ?
It's because of exponential growth. Each time you fold the paper in half, the number of layer doubles.
So, the number of layers is 2 to the power (number of folds)
So the total thickness rises exponentially like that, while the surface are available to fold decreases exponentially too.
 Not only that, the paper at the bend of the fold is also used up making the folding even more difficult.

Britney Gallivan has solved the Paper Folding Problem. This well known challenge was to fold paper in half more than seven or eight times, using a single piece of paper of any size or shape.

Mythbusters too have busted this myth in a NASA hangar with a huge sheet of paper.

  • Folding the paper in half a third time will get you about the thickness of a nail.

  • Seven folds will be about the thickness of a notebook of 128 pages.

  • 10 folds and the paper will be about the width of a hand.

  • 23 folds will get you to one kilometer—3,280 feet.

  • 30 folds will get you to space. Your paper will be now 100 kilometers high.

  • Keep folding it. 42 folds will get you to the Moon. With 51 you will burn in the Sun.

  • Now fast forward to 81 folds and your paper will be 127,786 light-years, almost as thick as the Andromeda Galaxy, estimated at 141,000 light-years across.

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