WATERLOO, Ontario, April 16 (UPI) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau skillfully answered a reporter’s question about quantum computing while visiting a think tank on Friday,
A video shows a reporter jokingly asking Trudeau to explain quantum physics before asking him about Canada’s role in the fight against the Islamic State. Trudeau responded by starting to explain how “normal computers work” before being interrupted by laughter.
“No, no, don’t interrupt me, when you walk out of here you will know more — well no, some of you will know far less — about quantum computing” Trudeau said before beginning his explanation.
“A regular computer bit is either a one or a zero, either on or off,” he said. “A quantum state can be much more complex than that, because as we know, things can be both particle and wave at the same time and the uncertainty around quantum states allows us to encode more information into a much smaller computer.”
The crowd applauded. Senior faculty member of Quantum Foundations at Perimeter Dr. Lucien Hardy told Global News that he had “never seen a prime minister attempt anything like that.”
“I was very impressed he made an attempt,” Hardy said. “He got it spot on.”
Trudeau also received a video message from theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking before announcing a budget of $50 million for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
“The investment we’re announcing today will strengthen the Perimeter Institute’s position as a world-leading research centre in helping advance Canada’s role as a leader in the global scientific community,” Trudeau said.