Thursday, 24 June 2021

Alan Turing and the new £50 note

This week the Bank of England's new £50 note, which features Alan Turing, the codebreaker and computer scientist, entered circulation.

Alan Turing played a pivotal role devising code-breaking machines during World War II and was a significant figure in the development of computer science. Turing's work not only continues to influence science, but his legacy is also incredibly important in our society today, as he was homosexual and was posthumously pardoned by the Queen, having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man.

The £50 note features various symbols that represent aspects of Alan Turing's life and work. For example, the design includes a mathematical table and formulae from his 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem", which is recognised for its importance in early computer science, and ticker tape depicting his birth date- 23rd June 1912- in binary code.

You can read more about the Bank of England's new £50 note, as well as the extraordinary and inspiring life of Alan Turing, here-