Alternative to “Penny Doubling”

Via Chris Lusto:

If you have absolutely no idea, I’ll tell you that a standard piece of printer paper, folded six times by high a school student with very little concern for symmetry or crease definition, has an average thickness somewhere between six and eight millimeters. How much will that increase over the next 44 folds? Any ideas?


Out of roughly 100 students, all guesses but one were under 10 feet. One girl said 100 feet, and she just about got laughed out of the classroom. The actual answer: a little over 100 billion meters. No, that’s not a typo. In fact, if you could manage to fold the paper in half one more time, for 51 total, you’d have a stack that’s taller than the distance from the Earth to the sun.


One thought on “Alternative to “Penny Doubling”

  1. It would be interesting to see whether predictions are any more accurate for a “penny doubling” problem after dong this – or vice versa. Exponential growth really is amazing!

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