Can you fold a paper 50 times?

Paper folding

Here’s a quick question…

What happens if you fold a letter sized paper 50 times over? Can you tell what would be the total height of the whole thing, given the following…

  • Size of paper is standard letter i.e. A4 (letter size, usual paper used for print outs)
  • Approx. thickness is 0.1mm i.e. 1×10-3 meters or 1×10-6 kilometers (km)

If you try it now, you will notice that you can’t get it folded more than 7 times. Actually most people can go up till 6 times and not anymore. But here’s the hypothetical situation…consider that you actually can fold the paper 50 times then what happens? Believe it or not, the height of the paper becomes equal to the distance from the earth and the sun (yes, you read it right!) A humongous 95 million freaking miles!! The trick is…when you fold the paper, you are increasing the height exponentially, not just multiplying. The following table will explain this better…

n

2n

Height in km

Description

0

1

0.1 x 10-6

1

2

0.2 x 10-6

2

4

0.4 x 10-6

3

8

0.8 x 10-6

4

16

1.6 x 10-6

5

32

3.2 x 10-6

6

64

6.4 x 10-6

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

30

1073741824

107.4 x 10-6

Outer limits of the atmosphere

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

50

1125899906842624

112.5 x 10**6

~ Distance to the sun

(approx. 95 million miles)

51

……

….

To the sun and back!!!

Surprised?? Honestly, you are not the first guy who is. Happy folding!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>