A sheet of paper is 0.1 mm thick. When it's folded in half once, the folded sheet is 0.2 mm thick. Folding it in half again produces a stack 0.4 mm thick. Define the function g so that g(n) is the thickness when folded n times.
a) Is g discrete?
b) Find a formula for g(n)
c) How thick is the stack after 8 folds?
d) How many folds are required to obtain a stack that reaches at least the moon, which is 380,000 km from earth?
(1) `g ` is discrete sine the inputs are natural numbers (1,2,3,...)
(2) `g(n)=.1(2)^(n-1) ` for `n in NN `
This is a geometric sequence with initial value 0.1 and constant ratio `r=2 ` .
(3) After 8 folds the stack is `.1(2)^7=12.8"mm" ` **
(4) If it were possible we can set up the equation:
`.1(2)^(n-1)=3.8"x"10^(11) ` (converting 380000km to mm)
(If you do not know logarithms, you could use guess and check to find that n=42 gives a height of approximately 220000km while n=43 gives a height of approximately 440000km.)
So n is approximately 43 folds.**
** There is a limiting factor given the initial thickness of the paper regardless of the size of the paper. This was discovered and proven by a high school student in 2001. See the link.
Also 51 folds will get you to the sun -- if it were physically possible.
Really helpful explanations. Thank you!
a) g is not discrete for it is not possible to have negative g realistically.
b) g(n) = 2^n
c) g(8) = 2^8
= 256 (mm)
d) 380,000km = 38,000,000,000
g(x) = 380,000,000,000
log2 380,000,000,000 to get answer