November 17, 2005
Smart CookieIt is widely accepted that no piece of paper, no matter its size, can be folded more than eight times.
Student Britney Gallivan proved everyone wrong by folding paper a record twelve times:
For extra credit in a math class Britney was given the challenge to fold anything in half 12 times. After extensive experimentation, she folded a sheet of gold foil 12 times, breaking the record. This was using alternate directions of folding. But, the challenge was then redefined to fold a piece of paper. She studied the problem and was the first person to realize the basic cause for the limits. She then derived the folding limit equation for any given dimension. Limiting equations were derived for the case of folding in alternate directions and for the case of folding in a single direction using a long strip of paper. The merits of both folding approaches are discussed, but for high numbers of folds, single direction folding requires less paper.[ via Boing Boing.]
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