- 12 May '07 19:04 / 1 edit

Folding 50 times is impossible*Originally posted by adramforall***Want a bet?**

Fold paper in half.

Cut the paper into two halves.

Fold one of the halves in two

Cut the paper into two halves.

repeat .......

Cutting a piece of paper in halfs and put them ontop of eachother is possible. But the pieces is getting smaller and smaller. Do we have to go to molecule sized pieces?

But folding alone is impossible. - 12 May '07 20:41An offset 80-basis paper has a thickness of .0055 in. Convert this to miles:

.0055 in x 1 ft/12 in x 1 mile/5280 ft = 8.68x10^-8 miles

Since the thickness doubles with every fold, multiply this by 2^50:

8.68x10^-8 x 2^50 = 9.77x10^7 miles

The distance from here to the sun is ~9.3x10^7 miles. So it would actually pass the sun by ~470,000 miles. - 13 May '07 07:34

It is not possible to fold a paper 50 times without cutting it into pieces! Simply impossible.*Originally posted by Jirakon***An offset 80-basis paper has a thickness of .0055 in. Convert this to miles:**

.0055 in x 1 ft/12 in x 1 mile/5280 ft = 8.68x10^-8 miles

Since the thickness doubles with every fold, multiply this by 2^50:

8.68x10^-8 x 2^50 = 9.77x10^7 miles

The distance from here to the sun is ~9.3x10^7 miles. So it would actually pass the sun by ~470,000 miles.

Try it yourself and you'll quickly understand why.

Take a 1 by 1 meter sheet of paper with a 0.1 millimeter in thickness. The volume of this paper is 100 qubic millimeter. This volume does not eve change.

Fold it once. Now you have 1/2 by 1 meter in size and 0.2 mm in thickness.

Fold it once again. Now you have 1/2 by 1/2 meter in size and 0.4 mm in thickness, right?

Bot now, studi how it is folded: The sheet in the bottom and the sheet in the top have one folding in common. That means that the size is not exactly 1/2 meter square anymore but 1/2 minus 0.4 millimeter.

Do this again: Fold once and fold once again.

Now you have the area of 1/4 by 1/4 meters in area and 1.6 mm in thickness, right. But not exactly but 1/4 meter minus 1.6 millimeter.

Do it again: Gives 1/8 meter in square minus 6.4 millimeter.

Do it again: Gives 1/16 meter in square minus 25.6 millimeter.

Do it again: Gives 1/32 meter in square minus 102.4 millimeter.

Now study this pack of folded paper. The volume is the same, the size has schrinked but its thickness has growed. The size is 1/32 meter equalling 300 mm or thereabout and the thickness is around 100 millimeter.

Try to fold this once more and you will fail (if not earlier). The size in one direction is 150 millimeter and its thickness is around 200 millimeter. That means that the sheet in the bottom can't meet the sheet in the top. Therefore the latest folding is impossible.

We have folded only 10 times, the eleventh failed. Then ask yourself if 50 foldings are possible.

It is not simply possile to fold a sheet of paper more than a limited number of times, regardless of thickness of the paper or the square size from the beginning.

It's impossible. - 13 May '07 13:22The thickness is going to increase exponentially, although the area would also decrease in the same way. But if you take a large enough peoce of paper - MUCH larger than the surface of the Earth itself you'll be able to fold it more than enough to reach the value of 1 a. u. (9.2*10^7 mi).

Proved at mythbusters. - 13 May '07 13:41

In order to fold a paper sufficiantly many times to reach the sun you have to have a paper that is of a size halfways to the sun, 75 millon kilometres, to begin with. The surface of the eartch is not enough.*Originally posted by Allderdice***The thickness is going to increase exponentially, although the area would also decrease in the same way. But if you take a large enough peoce of paper - MUCH larger than the surface of the Earth itself you'll be able to fold it more than enough to reach the value of 1 a. u. (9.2*10^7 mi).**

Proved at mythbusters.

Do the same method by me described and you will see that otherwise it is impossible.