Former Chapel High student who helped design new £50 note releases science book

A physicist and mathematician who hails from the High Peak and was part of the team who designed the new £50 note has published his first book.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 4:39 pm

Dr Arthur Turrell, who grew up in the borough and went to Chapel-en-le-Frith High School and New Mills Sixth Form before leaving to go to Durham University says he has had a very fortunate career already at the young age of 34.

After studying for his doctorate, Arthur was one of just a few people with a background not in finance who was offered a place at the Bank of England.

He said: “The Bank of England was branching out and wanted to employ PhD graduates with various backgrounds to bring a wider pool of knowledge into the industry.

Former Chapel High and New Mills Sixth Form student Dr Arthur Turrell has released his first book. Picture by Karen Hatch

"I had done a lot of post graduate work where physics was at the forefront of my work so this was a nice change.”

And his expertise were also called on to help design the latest 50 pound note which features scientist Alan Turing.

Arthur, who now lives in south London, said: “People knew I had a science and maths background so I was asked to pick some key elements and features of Alan Turing’s work which would be displayed on the new note.

"I was told I had to decide which images I wanted to use in just 48 hours. I wanted to pick something which showed the world his greatness.”

The Bank of England first issued the new polymer £50 note in June but Arthur says he sadly has not seen one in circulation yet.

After leaving the bank, Arthur now works at the Office of National Statistics as a deputy director for research and capability and in his spare time he has written a book called The Star Builders: Nuclear Fusion and the Race to Power the Planet.

He said: “I never left physics, it was always in my heart and I’ve really enjoyed writing this book, it’s been a labour of love.”

His book looks at replicating the sun’s power here on earth as a renewable energy source and contains anecdotes of the scientists and entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to recreating this star power.

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