How-To Geek

How Folding Paper can get You to the Moon [Video]

Adrian Paenza presents a fun TEDEducation talk about exponential growth using the ‘folding of paper to reach the moon’ as his example. How many folds do you think it would take to reach the moon? You just might be surprised!

From YouTube: Can folding a piece of paper 45 times get you to the moon? By seeing what happens when folding just one piece of paper, we see the unbelievable potential of exponential growth. This lesson will leave you wanting to grab a piece of paper to see how many times you can fold it!

How Folding Paper Can Get You to the Moon – Adrian Paenza [via Geeks are Sexy]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 01/15/13

Comments (11)

  1. Two Replies

    If you could… the resulting “stack” would be of the microscopic ‘sheets’ of the dimensions 102.948994 x 133.22808 nano-meters. So the width and depths of the stack would be SMALLER than the paper’s original thickness (0.1mm). So the tiny sheets in the stack would have surpassed the possibility of being “folded” LONG before.
    Most “bends” would have to be slices.

  2. Three Replies

    2^45 is a big number

  3. indianacarnie

    My business understands exponential growth very well :).

  4. Martin

    What it also means is that the size of the original sheet of paper would have to span, quite possibly, an area larger than the surface of the Earth. No, I didn’t do the math, but considering it this way would compensate for the lack of surface area to fold into the volume of the resulting stack.

  5. Ushindi

    I wonder if Britney Gallivan has folded paper to the moon yet…

  6. Carfyd

    Of course, the troll side of this article is that it is impossible to fold paper more than 7 times!

  7. Ushindi

    I suggest you google “Britney Gallivan” – I know people USED to think that, but now you’re behind the times.

  8. Jack

    Carfyd is correct. It is not possible to fold a piece of paper more than 7 times.

    Now – if you CUT it……………………………..

  9. Henry

    actually you can fold paper more than 7 times

    you’re thinking of folding it in half more than 7 times

    which is still possible…

    …if you have a big enough piece/sheet
    they make those industrial rolls that are freaking huge

  10. Ushindi

    “I suggest you google “Britney Gallivan” – I know people USED to think that, but now you’re behind the times.”

  11. Fyber

    MythBusters folded a sheet of paper 11 times

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