And They Said It Couldn't Be Done: Woman Successfully Folds Piece Of Paper In Half 12 Times

November 29, 2018


This is a video highlighting the work of Britney Gallivan, who recently set the Guinness World Record for number of times a piece of paper was folded in half, with a staggering twelve folds. Continually folding a piece of paper in half is an example of exponential growth, and Britney says if you could fold an ordinary piece of paper in half fifty times, the thickness would reach the sun. I believe her. The trick to folding a piece of paper in half so many times is the length of the paper, since, while the middle thickness of the stack always doubles with each fold, the radius of the fold (the curving area to the side) actually squares. Britney states as the number of folds increase, you need four times the length of paper to achieve the next fold, and it took her 4,000 feet of paper to set the twelve fold record (pictured above is only eleven of the final twelve). Impressive, now lets raid the bathrooms for toilet paper then tape them together and go for thirteen.

Keep going for the video, complete with equations.

Thanks to Jules, who agrees anything is possible with math on your side.

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