The new CHF 200 bill has been released and it’s causing an unexpected stir among young adults. On the bill, front and center is the règle de la main droite, or in English, the Right Hand Rule which is a tool used in physics and mathematics for understanding the orientation of axis in 3-dimensional space.
The Swiss started printing a new series of money last year. Each new bill’s design is based on “the many facets of Switzerland.” So far, we’ve discovered wind on the CHF 50, light on the CHF 20, time on the CHF 10 and now scientific expertise on the CHF 200.
Common among the bills is a hand doing something that represents the theme: grasping a dandelion in the wind, holding a prism reflecting light, conducting music representing time, and now the hand forming the règle de la main droite representing scientific expertise.
The uproar among kids is that most of them have extensively studied the règle de la main droite. My daughter explains how entertaining it must have been to watch her exam while students put down their pencils, lifted, shifted and studied their right hand until they figured out the orientation of the vectors. My son’s friends were happy to be done with the règle de la main droite when they graduated. Now they are messaging jokes about how it will haunt them for most of their lives. I can’t help but laugh how extremely Swiss this is.
There are more beautiful and fascinating features on our Swiss francs. Common across the bills is a globe. In the case of the CHF 200, you see the earth’s land masses during the late Cretaceous period. The security strip features an abstract map of the geological ages of Switzerland, as well as a timeline in tiny, tiny print showing some of the stages in the formation of the universe. Look closer and you’ll see cells, our planets circling the sun and electrons circling nuclei. Finally, turn the bill over for a depiction of Geneva’s particle collision in CERN’s hadron collider.
If you’re interested in the CHF 50, CHF 20 and CHF 10 check out my earlier blog Swiss Money: Beautiful and Safe which also explains the security measures involved in our Swiss Franc and a fun App developed by the Swiss National Bank.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/