Good question - how many times can you fold a sheet of paper?

by | Aug 25, 2008 12:04 AM ET

How many times can you fold a sheet of paper? You might be thinking that the answer is 7. But you would be wrong:

Folding Paper

From the article:

Suppose that you start with an standard A4 sheet of paper - about 300 mm long, and about 0.05 mm thick.
The first time you fold it in half, it becomes 150 mm long and 0.1 mm thick. The second fold takes it to 75 mm long and 0.2 mm thick. By the 8th fold (if you can get there), you have a blob of paper 1.25 mm long, but 12.8 mm thick. It's now thicker than it is long, and, if you're trying to bend it, seems to have the structural integrity of steel.
A typical claim on the Internet might run, "No matter its size or thickness, no piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times", and as you stare sadly at your block of folded paper, you tend to agree.

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