Canny Canadian PM schools snarky hack on quantum computing

If only US legislators had the same skills

Justin Trudeau

Video The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has humiliated a Canadian journalist who assumed he was clueless about quantum computing.

Trudeau was attending a press conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario to announce $50m in science funding. A reporter jokingly asked him to explain quantum computing before shifting the question to counterterrorism, but the Canuck PM was having none of it.

"OK, quite simply, normal computers work by..." Trudeau started before the room erupted. "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 said.

"Normal computers work, either there's power going through a wire or not. It's one or a zero. They're binary systems," the PM explained.

"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."

Youtube Video

As explanations go, it's a pretty good one. Trudeau is a self-confessed geek and a trained teacher and it's hard to fault his explanation of what is a very complex area of computing.

If only American politicians displayed the same knowledge. Earlier this week the two heads of the US Senate Intelligence Committee – the very group charged with reining in digital spying by American intelligence agencies – introduced a braindead anti encryption bill that defies the laws of mathematics. ®

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