Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once famously insisted that he’ll proclaim his feminism until it no longer surprises anyone. So, it’s not too surprising that he spent his Friday at a conference meant (in part) to propel more women into science. This event occurred at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. He took the mic to declare $50 million in federal funding, and then something unexpected happened.
Trudeau revealed another one of his hidden talents to the world, perhaps to further endear himself to folks who are used to “dodgy” politicians and loads of international scandal. As it turns out, Trudeau is not only a boxer and a yoga star, he’s also kind of a nerd. At this very academic event, Trudeau fielded an inquiry from a reporter who doubted whether the PM understood quantum computing. Oh, this guy knows, and he’ll tell you all about it:
“Very simply, normal computers work by … [laughter] … No, no, no don’t interrupt me. When you walk out of here, you will know more. No, some of you will know far less about quantum computing.”
If anyone thought Trudeau was bluffing, he quickly put that suspicion to rest.
“Normal computers work, either there’s one power going through a wire or not. It’s one or a zero, they’re binary systems. What quantum states allow for is much more complex information to be encoded into a single bit. Regular computer bit is either a one or a zero, on or off. A quantum state could be much more complex than that, because, as we know, things could 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.”
Trudeau then warned the audience not to encourage him, or he’d never stop rambling on the subject. HuffPo spoke to an expert who confirmed that Trudeau’s take on the subject was right in line with what the teachings of the Perimeter Institute, which is probably why he reportedly received a standing ovation. This news will make more folks love or hate him, but Stephen Hawking seems to be a fan.