The first person who folded the paper in half 12 times was Britney
Gallivan. She folded toilet paper in half 12 times so our class decided
to try it. We did a practice run in our classroom. Then we did it in the
hallway on January 13. We only got 9 folds but Britney has broken the
record you can fold paper in half 12 times.
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In January of 2002, while a junior in high school, Britney Gallivan
demonstrated that a single piece of paper can be folded in half twelve
(12) times. The previous limit was believed to be only eight (8) times.
Not only did she provide the empirical proof, but she also derived an
equation that yielded the width of paper, W, needed in order to fold a
piece of paper of thickness t any number (n) of times.
In 2005, Britney’s story was mentioned on an episode of Numb3rs on
CBS. She currently attends the University of California, Berkeley.