Birth date in binary code among features of new Alan Turing banknote

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

The new £50 note depicts Alan Turing’s birth date in binary code within its intricate design.

Here are some of the other key features of the new Bank of England note, which will enter circulation from June 23:

– A photo of Turing taken in 1951 by Elliott & Fry, which is part of the photographs collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

– A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s 1936 paper On Computable Numbers. Turing’s work is recognised as foundational for computer science.

– The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) which was developed at the National Physical Laboratory as a trial model of Turing’s pioneering design.

New £50 note
(Bank of England/PA)

– Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the machine specified by Turing and one of the primary tools used to break Enigma-enciphered messages during the Second World War.

– A quote from Turing, given in an interview to The Times on June 11 1949: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

– Turing’s signature from the visitors’ book at Max Newman’s House in 1947 which is on display at Bletchley Park, where he worked during the Second World War.

– Ticker tape depicting Turing’s birth date (June 23 1912) in binary code. The concept of a machine fed by binary tape featured in Turing’s 1936 paper.

– Key security features including a metallic hologram which changes between the words Fifty and Pounds when the note is tilted, and a large see-through window with a gold and green foil on the front depicting a finely detailed metallic microchip image.

– A red foil patch containing the letters AT, based on the image of a sunflower head, linked to Turing’s work in later life.

Further details about the new £50 note are at