# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!  (Read 7677 times)

#### mar_mazz

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##### A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« on: 19/10/2005 09:18:00 »
Hi guys!

Does anyone know how many times I should fold a piece of paper (hei, I mean a NORMAL piece of paper, A4 size)... to cover the distance between Earth and the Moon?

have fun!

[:o)] Marzia

#### neilep

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##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #1 on: 19/10/2005 13:44:43 »
Isn't it something that you just wouldn't believe...like only fifty times ?...

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!

#### thefunkyaquarium

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##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #2 on: 19/10/2005 22:47:32 »
Something like that.

Except it's actually impossible to fold a piece of paper in half more than about 8 times.

#### Ultima

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• Posts: 488
##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #3 on: 22/10/2005 17:15:32 »
There's a set limit to how many times you can fold a piece of paper regardless of size or the type of paper (or anything) So the answer is you can't. If you wanted to work it out in theory, then the thickness of the paper doubles with every fold. Say the paper is a tenth of a millimeter thick. 0.00001m and the average distance to the moon is 382,500,000m..

Since im a computery person here you go:

Code: [Select]
`#include <stdio.h>#include <stdlib.h>#define papthck 0.00001#define moondst 382500000.0/** *   getfolds.c * * Lets work out the paper folds to some distance! * Default to the number of folds to the MOON. *   Ultima (2005-10-22) * */long getfolds (double start, double end);/* * 1st arg thickness of material, followed by distance to reach. */int main (argc, argv) int argc;char **argv;{   if (argc == 1) {      printf("No. of paper folds to MOON: %ld\n",getfolds(papthck,moondst));   }   else {      printf("No. of folds: %ld\n",getfolds(atof(argv[1]),atof(argv[2])));   }return EXIT_SUCCESS;}/* * Get that sassy value you want. */long getfolds (start, end) double start;double end;{static long number = 0;   if (start >= end) return number;   start *= 2;   number ++;   getfolds(start, end);return number;}`
The answer is 46 give or take a fold

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Folding.html
« Last Edit: 22/10/2005 20:00:41 by Ultima »

#### neilep

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##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #4 on: 22/10/2005 20:51:06 »
...amazing...so my guestimate at 50 was pretty darn close  !!

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!

#### Ultima

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##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #5 on: 23/10/2005 00:45:29 »
Well that depends what you mean by close it would be 2^4 x <distance to the moon> out.
I was surprised it was so little and I know what exponential growth is like from programming . One thing to think about is bacteria populations grow in a similar manner

#### simeonie

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##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #6 on: 14/12/2005 17:32:13 »
You lost me at "hi"
« Last Edit: 27/06/2009 15:15:03 by BenV »

#### Solvay_1927

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##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #7 on: 14/12/2005 23:58:52 »
A related link, in case anyone's interested:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2946

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: A piece of paper can take you to the Moon!
« Reply #7 on: 14/12/2005 23:58:52 »