this really annoying girl in my school insisted you can’t fold paper more then 6 or 7 times, no matter how big it was, and i insisted you can, now this girl ir sooo annoying, she ALWAYS gets straight A’s and when she got a B in gym, she cried! she’s always right, but not this time! thank you straight dope, on monday i’m showing her the proof, you can fold the paper 10 times!
Always happy to be of service.
And the column is Can a piece of paper be folded in half no more than seven times?
The version I always heard in school was, “You can’t fold it more than 11 times.” And with the average piece of typing or school paper, we found this to be true, mainly because by the tenth fold it was in a tiny unfoldable wad.
Remember that you’re talking powers of two. The nth fold, you’re effectively folding 2[sup]n-1[/sup] pages. So by the 11th fold, you’re trying to fold around 1000 pages. That ain’t gonna be easy, but the main factor is going to be the thickness of the paper, rather than it’s size. Obviously, the size will matter as well, since by the 10th fold, you’ve got about 1/1000th of the area you started with. If you started with an 8.5 x 11 sheet (US standard), you’re talking about winding up with something around 1000 sheets thick and only 0.09 square inch.
Crikey! I always found that to be the case after the seventh folding, with an average piece of 8.5x11 or A4 paper. How on earth could you get to ten? In Cecil’s column, he had to buy that 0.4 mil plastic sheet that was 36x48 inches in order to get it to fold ten times.