Justin Trudeau — Star of His Own Viral Universe

Source: The New York Times, April 26

Justin TrudeauWithin the past two weeks, nearly a million and a half people have watched a YouTube video clip featuring an explanation of quantum computing. Such an esoteric subject may not generally attract intense interest, but when Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is involved, these things have a tendency to go viral.

Mr. Trudeau has become a digital star many times over since his election in October. Videos of the leader explaining his brand of feminism or hugging baby pandas have become a near-weekly staple of social media feeds.

The clip of Mr. Trudeau, 44, excitedly breaking down quantum computing during a visit to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, this month prompted admiring write-ups from both Canadian and American news media outlets.

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Source: Aaron Hutchins in Maclean’s, April 19

…What happens when experts in quantum computing themselves are asked to explain the technology to a lay audience in 35 seconds, the time Trudeau took to give his explanation? “This is something that cannot be explained well in 35 seconds,” says Aephraim Steinberg, a professor of physics at the University of Toronto and member of the Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control. But Steinberg – and a half-dozen other experts from across North America – were willing to step up to our challenge and give it a try.


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