Watch Malcolm Turnbull explain quantum computing to a bunch of scientists

Photo: Don Arnold/Getty Images.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull knows a thing or two about quantum computing.

On Friday, Turnbull and minister for industry, innovation and science Christopher Pyne unveiled a new quantum computing laboratory complex at the University of New South Wales.

But in his address, the prime minister found time to give a quick rundown of quantum computing which he said had the “ability to create the most unbreakable codes” and “the ability to decipher the codes of today” through its “extraordinary processing power”.

He pointed out that conventional computing was not enough to keep up with the demands of a digitised world.

“We need more, we have bigger problems that we need to solve more quickly and conventional computing which as you know, it’s called digital processing, which depends on transistors with a series of on and off switches. Ones and zeros if you like. That’s the digital world. Extraordinarily fast but we are reaching a finite limit.”

Turnbull’s explanation came just a week after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau gave a reporter a short lesson on quantum computing.

Here’s what he said.

“To use a silicon environment to render the phosphorus atom, which is the qubit, which is the particle that is being manipulated in a way that can operate in more than one state at once.

“This superpositioning of the qubit enables vastly more rapid processing than we’ve had before. But of course, this is a very dynamic environment. It isn’t a series of on-off switches: power on, power off. It is a very dynamic environment.

“How do you render it stable? How do you control it? How do you stimulate it to do what you want? And how do you ensure that it remembers what it’s done for a long enough period to be practically useful?”

You can watch Turnbull’s full address below.

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