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Folding Paper

  1. Jan 12, 2008 #1
    Hey, well recently I've found out at the late age of 17, that you can only fold a sheet of paper 7 times over, no matter how thin, or large the piece of paper is. Is there any scientific reasoning behind this? I can't think of anything??
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2008 #2


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    Each successive fold doubles the layers. By the seventh fold you have a sheaf of paper 128 sheets thick. That's thick enough to cause major distortions and tearing.

    "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(season_5)#Seven_Folds" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017 at 10:06 AM
  4. Jan 12, 2008 #3


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    Have you tried this with single-ply tissue paper? I just doubled a single ply from a Scotties tissue 8 times with no problem. Tissues are small. If the sheet was larger or if the sheet was thinner, it would have been easy to get more folds in.
  5. Jan 12, 2008 #4


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    For relatively thick paper, with each fold the paper becomes stiffer and the outer layer(s) will not stretch and thus each subsequent fold is harder.
  6. Jan 12, 2008 #5
    Cheers, I get it now.
  7. Jan 12, 2008 #6
    Read about "http://www.pomonahistorical.org/12times.htm" [Broken] who not only folded papers more than 12 times in half, but derived an equation that yielded the width of paper, W, needed in order to fold a piece of paper of thickness t any n number of times, all while she was in junior high school.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017 at 10:06 AM
  8. Jan 13, 2008 #7


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  9. Jan 13, 2008 #8
    Tissues are not made of paper. They are only in the shape of paper.
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