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Folding Paper

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#756
Fun:*** (2.22)
Difficulty:** (1.37)
Submitted By:beans***
Corrected By:phrebh




What is the most amount of times that a dry, square piece of ordinary paper can be folded in half?


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Don Ray
Dec 08, 2001

One "correct" answer would be "once", because on the second fold you would have folded it into quarters, etc.
Another "correct" answer would be closer to infinite than 7, because if you folded it in half, UNFOLDED IT, then REfolded it in half, you would have folded the paper in half twice. You could continue to do that until the fibers in the paper completely broke, leaving you with 2 separate sheets of paper.
Mar 10, 2002

it also depends on how big the paper is
Jun 07, 2002

I can fold tracing paper in half more than 7 times and tin foil (even though it's not paper) lots more!
Aug 13, 2002

The point is how many times can you keep folding the paper over on itself in half. YOu can only do it 7 times regardless of the size of the paper
Nov 12, 2002

Wouldn't the thickness of the paper make a difference as to how many times it could be folded?
Nov 26, 2003

I managed 8 times starting with some thin tissue paper. Is there any reason for the 7?
Nov 27, 2003

I tried it with just standard A4 sized paper and couldn't manage more than 7 real folds, the "8th" was little more than bending the chunk of paper, but not a real fold.
Dec 15, 2004

I have heard people state 7 folds as an absolute truth before, and have to disagree. The number of folds has little (or nothing) to do with the size of the original paper, but an awful lot to do with the thickness of the paper. The problem with folding it consecutive times is that the thickness at the fold increases exponentially, and will be 2^7 times the thickness of the paper itself on the 7th fold. If you start with microscopically thin paper, then the new thickness (while still 128 times the initial thickness) would be, umm, microscopic. The 128 times piece is the killer. If a 500 sheet ream of paper is 2 inches thick (my estimate), then the 8th fold would get you to just about an inch of thickness of paper. Therein lies the problem. The half inch fold is okay, but you can't get much further than that. Use tissue paper, or something similar, and you aren't at those same limits.
Jul 03, 2005

It says 'how many times can you fold a dry SQUARE piece of paper in half?' The answer would really be 'once' because once you fold it in half it's not square anymore, it's rectangular.
Apr 10, 2006

Hence the "regular piece of paper" not tissue paper, not tin foil....not anything thick or thin.....this should have been an easy teaser, and the same thing keeps happening....people either get it wrong and are bitter, or are know it all's and try to find a way to make the answer wrong.

This answer is correct, and this teaser was well written....I understand exactly what he meant, and knew the answer, thanks to Mr. Wizard .....back off people and just have fun with this.
May 21, 2006

Jun 04, 2006

12 Times.
Nov 09, 2006

If you are very careful, and fold it and keep the fold down to a fine point without any creases besides the actual fold, I managed 8 folds. I just tried then... :-\

Though I have heard the seven one before, and find it very silly
Jan 18, 2007

i knew that
Feb 03, 2007

They actually tried this on Mythbusters, and most of the time they only got 7 folds. But with a very, very, very, very large piece of paper, they were able to get 12 folds.
Jun 18, 2007

Jun 28, 2007

i really enjoy this myth however it was busted on mythbusters when they took a GINORMOUS peice of paper and folded it in half like.... 10 or 12 times... it was really cool but i do love this teaser good job
Jul 07, 2007

he said ordinary paper... the answer is 7. doesnt matter how big it is... it is 7! good teaser!
Aug 02, 2007

The teaser said normal paper, as in normal thickness, and size.

You can easily beat this if you use thiner or MUCH larger paper (you have to more than double the size for each extra fold).

But that would violate the rules of the teaser
Feb 09, 2008

Well it depends on what kind of paper is "normal" to you. If you don't write but you blow your nose a lot and you count it as paper then that's your "normal" paper. brain hurts now
Apr 06, 2008

One complete answer to all that everyone was saying. It is truely 7. I tried this 1/2 a year ago and me and my mother desided to try out an experiment. We had a puny sheet, a printer sheet of paper, and a huge poster. All were folded 7 times before they were like smushed and couldn't move.
Sep 30, 2009

What happens if you press each fold down wth tons of weight?
Jul 16, 2010

To everyone who tries to disprove this: YOU'RE WRONG.
Take an ORDINARY dry piece of paper.
How many times can you fold it in HALF?

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