Canadian Prime Minister and part-time viral video star, Justin Trudeau surprised a room full of scientists and journalists at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics by nailing a short explanation of quantum computing.
At a press conference at the renowned theoretical physics institution on Friday, a reporter jokingly said, “I was going to ask you to explain quantum computers, but…” and went on to ask about Canada’s foreign policy on the so-called Islamic State.
Not thrown off by the ever-so-slightly sarcastic remark, Trudeau rose to the occasion and went on to give a simple yet clear explanation of quantum computing, to which the room erupted with applause.
Trudeau concluded his mini-lecture by saying, “Don’t get me going on this or we’ll be here all day. Trust me.”
No doubt Trudeau has an ensemble of PR-types ready to help him prepare for such questions, especially if you’re going to an institution known for its work on quantum mechanics and computing (although having both been a math teacher and studied engineering before becoming PM probably helped). But many have praised the clarity, confidence, and genuine interest shown in answering the question. And hey, as off-the-cuff explanations go, it’s a pretty good one.
So, if the idea of quantum computers still gives you a headache, here you go: