Alan Turing, the computing pioneer who became one of the most influential code breakers of World War II, has been chosen by the Bank of England to be the new face of its 50-pound note.
The decision to put Mr. Turing on the highest-denomination English bank note, worth about $62, adds to growing public recognition of his achievements. His reputation during his lifetime was overshadowed by a conviction under Britain’s Victorian laws against homosexuality, and his war work remained a secret until decades later.
First £50 note printed on polymer
1)The new £50 note will celebrate Alan Turing and his pioneering work with computers.
2)A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry which is part of the Photographs Collection at the National Portrait Gallery.
3)A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem” Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. This paper is widely recognised as being foundational for computer science. It sought to establish whether there could be a definitive method by which any theorem could be assessed as provable or not using a universal machine. It introduced the concept of a Turing machine as a thought experiment of how computers could operate.
4)The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine which was developed at the National Physical Laboratory as the trial model of Turing’s pioneering ACE design. The ACE was one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.
5)Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during WWII.
6)A quote from Alan Turing, given in an interview to The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”
7)Turing’s signature from the visitor’s book at Bletchley Park in 1947, where he worked during WWII.
8)Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing’s birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape featured in the Turing’s 1936 paper.