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Old 10-11-2012, 02:47 AM   #1
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A piece of paper

If I give you a large piece of paper and ask you to fold it over once, and then take that folded paper and fold it again, and then again, and again, until you have refolded the original paper fifty times, how tall do you think the final stack is going to be?
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Uhmmm....you can't fold the paper 50X...7X is the max using traditional methods. so the "stack" is 128X the original thickness (a-la mythbusters)
http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2007/01/episode_72_underwater_car_and.html
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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If you take a $100 bill, fold it over once and give it to me, it's going in my pocket.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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If you could fold a piece of paper fifty times the height of the stack would be approximately the distance from Earth to the sun. And if you folded it one more time, the height would be the distance from Earth to the sun and back. It's what's known in mathematics as a geometric progression.

I quoted the question from the fascinating book "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. He uses this as an illustration of a point he makes int he book. The book, by the way, is not about math but about what creates the tipping points that cause things, be it a product's success, an epidemic, etc. to occur.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Uhmmm....you can't fold the paper 50X...7X is the max using traditional methods. so the "stack" is 128X the original thickness (a-la mythbusters)
http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2007/01/episode_72_underwater_car_and.html
Actually no. The thickness of paper is about .1mm. When you fold it once, the thickness is .1 x 2^1, or .2mm. If you fold it twice, it's .1 x 2^2, or .4 mm. The third fold makes it .1 x 2^3, or .8 mm. 50 times is .1 x 2^50, or around 70 million miles. Can't write anymore, as I am sitting on top of a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper I am folding a few times so I can stand on it to reach the top of Mt. Everest. You'll read about it in the papers.
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