I said in my first blog that I intend to find art in everything, in every discipline. I’ve found a great example. It’s been known that mathematically you cannot fold a piece of paper in half more than 7 or 8 times. It is so baffling to imagine this, as a piece of paper has infinite halves, as does most everything else. You should definitely try this experiment yourself. It helps you understand paper and math all at once. I got to 8 yesterday with an insert from a poster frame. A co-worker and I came to understand that how many times you can fold paper depends on the thickness (which we also came to realize we should have realized sooner, being graphic designers and all).

So after all this experimentation, we wondered what the world record is – if anybody had beaten the norm. And turns out, there is. This is the most recent record I found, though it dates back to 2002. As a junior in high school, Britney Gallivan folded paper in half 12 times. It’s simply amazing and you need to check it out.

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This is so wild! The equations actually show why the limit exists. It is not what would be expected though it is related to paper thickness. It is actually quite subtile and relates to the amount of paper lost to folding per her defination that seems OK. She went beyond intuation to find the actual reason and derived the actual limits.

It is art in math.