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Just because he’s a politician doesn’t mean he can’t understand the basics of quantum computing, right? Right. In a rather impressive press conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau schooled a journalist on quantum computing.

Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister.
Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister.

The journalist’s attempt to be snarky backfired, “I was going to ask you to explain quantum computing,” he said, as the crowd chuckled. The reporter then tried to move on, asking something serious about how Canada is dealing with terrorism, but Trudeau decided to answer the journalist’s original question. He went full-on geek mode and into an explanation about the difference between quantum computing and normal computing, drawing applause from the crowd. “No, no, don’t interrupt me,” the prime minister said over the claps.

Trudeau then explained how normal computers are binary systems. “There’s either power going through a wire or not. It’s either 1 or a 0,” he explained. “What quantum states allow is for more complex information to be encoded into a single bit.”

Color me impressed. I’m no expert on quantum computing but that’s a pretty good explanation of the basics if I do say so myself. In light of the presidential election going on in the U.S. I wonder how our candidates would respond to such a question. Perhaps Mr. Trump would like to give it a try?


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