Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
September 2022
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Thick Paper

Take a normal piece of paper, exactly 0.1mm thick. Fold it in half, and then in half again, and again, and again. Do this a total of 50 times. How thick would the final paper be?

 

BTW, the answer is not: “it’s impossible.” We know it’s impossible so for the sake of the riddle, we’ll pretend that it can be done.

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5 guesses to Thick Paper


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  • paul

    The paper remains 0.1mm thick.

  • Dude

    Nope, not a trick question. Looking for an actual total here.

    Keep trying.

  • anant

    It would be 112589990684262.4 mm thick!

  • Dude

    Anant, you nailed it, albeit in a most non-sensational way.

    The paper would actually be 70 MILLION MILES THICK!!! (See how I did that?)

    The paper doubles in thickness with each fold. If we could fold it 50 times, it would be around 70 million miles thick!

    1 fold would be 0.1 + 0.1 = 0.1 x 2 ^ 1 = 0.1 mm
    2 folds would be 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 = 0.1 x 2 ^ 2 = 0.4 mm
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    10 folds would be 0.1 x 2 ^ 10 = 102.4 mm
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    50 folds would be 0.1 x 2 ^ 50 = 112,589,990,684,262.4 mm = 112,589,990.7 km (around 70 million miles).

    You are today’s winner.