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    Folding Paper

    DATA: Have you ever heard that if you could fold a piece of paper in half 100 times, it would sit taller then the radius of the known universe? I hadn't until recently. Raju Varghese does the math.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    That reminds me of the old tale about someone getting a king to pay him 1 cent for the first square on a checker board, and then twice that amount for each square thereafter (#2 gives 2 cents, #3 gives 4 cents, #4 gives 8 cents, etc). It's told a hundred different ways, but that's the basic idea. It doesn't sound so bad at first, but what we really have here are powers of two, and we end up with 2^63 as our final number. This is basically 9 with 18 zeros after it. Of course too, the problem is one of summation, so not only do you have 9 * 10^18, but you also add 45 * 10^17 and then 9 * 10^17 and so on and so forth. Exponents are fun :)


    September 16, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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