If someone told you that they could balance a full-size text book on a piece of paper, you might call up the looney bin. That’s a crazy idea, right? Well, the notion that a book can sit, precariously, atop a plain piece of paper isn’t quite as bonkers as you might think!
The secret to the paper’s new found strength is the geometrical shape known as a cylinder. Cylinders are one of the most structurally sound, and strongest, geometrical shapes. Cylinders are able to be incredibly strong, regardless of the material they’re made out of, because they disperse stress throughout their entire shape. If the rolled-up piece of paper were a perfect cylinder, the strength would be even stronger!
[Read more about the experiment over at Steve Spangler Science]