Folding a paper

  • #1
folding paper

Why can't we fold a piece of paper more than 8 times, no matter how large it is?

PS I've seen this question in another forum quite a long time ago but no one seems to know why. Some claimed that it can be explained by using some chemistry principles while others said it is related to math.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Phobos
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Math/physics.

Try it...with standard thickness paper, it just gets too thick/small to fold. Even with a large sheet, the powers-of-2 still rapidly cut the size down and make it unfoldable. (I'm sure there's a more elegant explanation than that, but that's all I have time for at the moment!)

But I think it can be done with thinner paper.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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If someone offered you $20 a day for a month or $.01 the first day, $.02 the second, $.04 the third, etc., which would you choose?

And how many pieces of paper would you be folding that 8th time?

Ahh, the power of exponents.
 
  • #4
the power of exponents
Yeah, I thought of it too when I was on my way back home from school.

However, as long as the dimensions aren't negative (and it will never be negative by folding), I think we can fold it, not by human but by machines. I think it is we who aren't strong enough to fold it, but not machines.
 
  • #5
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Originally posted by russ_watters
If someone offered you $20 a day for a month or $.01 the first day, $.02 the second, $.04 the third, etc., which would you choose?

And how many pieces of paper would you be folding that 8th time?

Ahh, the power of exponents.

Well, 2 to the power of 30 is roughly 1,000,000,000
so you would make roughly $20, 000, 000 the second way versus $600 the first.

I know which one I would choose.
 
  • #6
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Originally posted by KL Kam
Why can't we fold a piece of paper more than 8 times, no matter how large it is?


do we know it's impossible. they should make a machine do it. you know, without stubby little fingers!
 

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