The Physics
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Thickness of a Piece of Paper

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Common Paper Sizes. "Copy paper is about 0.004 inches thick" 0.1 mm
Basford, K.E., G.J. Mclachlan & M.G. York. Modeling the distribution of stamp paper thickness via finite normal mixtures: The 1872 Hidalgo stamp issue of Mexico revisited. Journal of Applied Statistics. Vol. 24, No. 2 (April 1997): 169-180. "As noted by Izenmend and Sommer, there is some clustering around the value 0.07, 0.08, 0.09, 0.10, 0.11, 0.12, and 0.13 mm, with about half the data between 0.06 and 0.08." 0.07–0.13 mm
Average Paper Thickness (in 1/1000 in.). National Printing Source. Commercial Printers Helper.
50# OFFSET .0040 60# ENAMEL .0030
60# OFFSET .0045 70# ENAMEL .0045
70# OFFSET .0050 80# ENAMEL .0040
100# OFFSET .0070 100# ENAMEL .0050
0.076–0.18 mm
University of the State of New York Regents. High School Examination in Physics. Thursday June 5, 1989.
20) What is the approximate thickness
of this piece of paper?
1) 101 m 3) 10−2 m
2) 100 m 4) 10−4 m
0.1 mm
International Paper, 8½ x 14 in 216 x 356 mm, Legal, 75 g/m sq, 20/16, 500 sheets, white. [Measured thickness of 500 sheets is 51.5 mm] 0.103 mm

Paper …. What is paper? Well, to most, including myself, it's simply something we use to record all of our notes and data. Sometimes we use it just to draw and doodle something while we talk on the phone or are bored out of our minds. Most of a time, I don't think any of us sit there thinking about its value, we simply use it and that's all. However, if you really think about it, what would we do without it. Paper is one of the most significant products, used in various fields of our social and industrial lives. We use it to communicate to each other through mail, nearly all of our reading material is made out of paper, tissues, bags, and even money is made out of paper. Many times we waste paper without even thinking about its importance and its special qualities. In the beginning for example, before paper was even made, people used clay as their writing material.

Then first form of paper was made from a plant called papyrus. Its fibers were turned into paper, but it was far from the paper we use today. Paper today, doesn't only vary in its texture, size and color, but also in its caliper or in the other words thickness of a piece of paper expressed in thousandth of an inch. Although as I have already mentioned there are various types of paper, the average thickness of a regular copy paper ranges from 0.05 to 0.10 millimeters. It's obviously much thinner than the old fashioned papyrus and way more lighter than clay. All of this is thanks to our advanced technology. Don't you think it would be pretty sad if instead of light pieces of loose-leaf paper, we literally had to carry stones in our bags or old yellow papyrus? I'm guessing your answer would be "yes"!

Julia Sherlis -- 2001