The Bank of England has unveiled the final design of its new £50 polymer banknote that features the mathematician and wartime codebreaker Alan Turing. The new £50 – the last of the bank’s notes to go from paper to polymer – will come into circulation on 23 June, which is the 109th anniversary of Turing’s birth. “He was a leading mathematician, developmental biologist and a pioneer in the field of computer science,” says Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey. “He was also gay and was treated appallingly as a result. By placing him on our new polymer £50 banknote, we are celebrating his achievements, and the values he symbolizes.”
As with the other new polymer notes there are a series of security features such as holograms and foil patches to make them more difficult to forge. And to mark the occasion, the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ has set the “Turing Challenge”, which consists of twelve puzzles that increase in complexity leading to one final answer. The agency says it is their toughest puzzle yet, but surely it can’t be as hard as cracking the Enigma code machine.
Turing was certainly a visionary in several scientific fields, but if he were around today would he invest in a house on the Moon? If you are interested in living in what would surely be an ultralow density development, all you need is a £4.4 million deposit to get on the lunar property ladder. That is the claim of the website Money.co.uk, which reckons that the first house on the Moon would sell for a little over £44 million. You can read more about this hypothetical housing development in “How to get a mortgage on the Moon!”.