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Nottingham Professor destroys 'indestructible' five pound note

Sir Martyn Poliakoff Credit: Periodic Videos - YouTube

A professor from Nottingham and his team have succeeded in destroying the new five pound note, which was thought to be indestructible.

The new note was brought into circulation last September and people have tried ripping, washing and microwaving the polymer fiver to test its limits, with limited success.

University of Nottingham professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff has found the solution: liquid nitrogen and a lump hammer.

In a clip uploaded to his Periodic Videos series on YouTube, the professor said:

The Bank of England is issuing new bank notes starting with the five pound note, and they made them plastic and there have been all sorts of advertisements that you cannot break them.

I felt immediately challenged, and I had the idea that if we froze it with liquid nitrogen, the strands of the polymer would be frozen rigid and you may be able to break it, hitting it with a hammer.

– Sir Martyn Poliakoff

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The professor added that he had given his assistant Neil Barnes several of his own notes to use, as "you can't spend university money on things like this".