Canadian Prime Minister Explains Quantum Computing

April 16, 2016 Updated: April 16, 2016

Justin Trudeau’s appeal may have just found a new dimension.

The Canadian Prime Minister was asked about the deployment of airstrikes against ISIS at a press conference on April 15, but the reporter had inserted a joke about quantum computing beforehand. 

Trudeau took the bait, and launched into an explanation of the quantum computer. 

Don’t interrupt me. When you walk out of here, most of you will know more about quantum computing.
— Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister

“Normal computers work by …” Trudeau said, before he was greeted by an outburst of laughter. “Don’t interrupt me. When you walk out of here, most of you will know more about quantum computing.” 

Then he proceeded to give a brief summary of what makes quantum computing different from normal computing. 

“Normal computers work…either there’s power going through a wire or not. It’s one or a zero. They’re binary systems,” Trudeau said. “What quantum states allow for is much more complex information to be encoded into a single bit.” 

“A regular computer bit is either a one or a zero—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.” 

“Don’t get me going on this or we’ll be here all day,” Trudeau said at the end of his explanation, to cheers from the crowd. 

To his credit, Trudeau worked as a math teacher and studied engineering before entering politics.