Not just politics, Trudeau gives lessons on quantum computers too

  • IANS, Ottowa
  • Updated: Apr 17, 2016 10:22 IST
Prime Minister Justin‚ÄČTrudeau was speaking at an Ontario institute. (AP Photo)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stunned reporters on Friday after giving a quick lesson on quantum computing at an institute in Ontario.

At a press conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario on Friday when a reporter sarcastically suggested that Trudeau should explain quantum computing, the premier took up the challenge.

Before going into politics, Trudeau taught at the elementary and high school level in Vancouver, studied engineering and started a master’s degree in environmental geography, Global News Canada reported.

“I was going to ask you to explain quantum computing but…” the reporter said before asking a serious question about Canada’s role in defeating the Islamic State (IS).

But Trudeau answered the question anyway.

“OK, quite simply, normal computers work by…” Trudeau said before being drowned out by laughter and applause.

“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,” he continued.

“A regular computer bit is either a one or a zero, either on or off. 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.”

“So that’s what’s exciting about quantum computing,” he said as the crowd erupted into applause.

Martin Laforest, a quantum computing expert at the University of Waterloo, told HuffPost Canada that while Trudeau had just learned about quantum computing that morning, his answer was “quite accurate”.

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