Science & Tech

Fold a piece of paper this many times and you'll reach the end of the universe

Experts Say We Should Look Towards the ‘Multiverse’ Rather Than Space in …

Who knew a piece of paper could blow your mind?

Science enthusiasts, that’s who. Because it turns out you can theoretically reach the end of the universe just by folding a plain old sheet.

Clever clogs might argue that it’s impossible to fold a piece of paper more than 12 times – a record currently held by California high school student Britney Gallivan thanks to a 1.2km-long piece of tissue back in 2002.

However, physics nuts might also point out that you’d only need to fold a piece of paper 42 times to create a tower that would reach the moon.

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YouTuber Nikola Slavkovic set about explaining the staggering theory in layman’s terms, telling viewers: “Hypothetically speaking, if the average paper thickness is 10th of a millimetre, how many half folds do we have to make so that the final piece of paper is 1km tall? Twenty-three folds.

“How many folds to reach space 100km above us? Thirty folds.

“How many to reach the moon? Forty-two. The sun? Fifty-one.”

Finally he asked: “How many folds would you have to make so that the final piece of paper is 93 billion light-years [long], or the diameter of the observable universe?

“Wait for it... 103 folds.”

A piece of paper as BIG as the universe!

Slavkovic went on: “Yeah, I'm surprised, too. But we are not talking about linear growth here – one, two, three, four five, – we are talking about exponential growth.”

We won’t even attempt to explain that term right now. Just enjoy the paper.

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