Just when you think you’ve got physics… | Brief letters

The joy of physics | TV theme tunes | Weather forecasts | The cost of war

Your correspondence on quantum mechanics (Editorial, 30 August; Letters, 3 September) reminded me of a conversation that I had 50 years ago with a German biologist. He told me that as a teenager he had wanted to be a theoretical physicist and went to a lecture by Wolfgang Pauli on the latter’s exclusion principle. Seeking out Pauli at the end, he said: “That was wonderful, I could see exactly what you meant.” Pauli’s reply: “If you could see it, you didn’t get it.” I gathered that was why he chose biology.
Prof John Galloway
Croxley Green, Hertfordshire

• Richard Walker (Letters, 3 September) is right about the brilliant Crossroads TV theme. I’ve always felt that some programmes were more popular than they deserved to be purely because of their theme tune. An obvious candidate was the 1970s detective series Van der Valk, whose excellent theme tune, Eye Level, seemed to raise it above the average.
Dougie Mitchell
Edinburgh

• Re weather forecasts (Letters, 2 September), I was reminded of the words of a visiting American acquaintance in the 1980s. “I’m not sure why you Brits bother with weather forecasts,” he said. “There are only three states of weather in the UK: it’s just stopped raining, it’s raining, or it’s just about to rain.”
Ray Woodhams
Barnsley, South Yorkshire

• Simon Jenkins says the Afghan war cost Britain £37bn (Biden isn’t the first president to promise never to wage another war of intervention, 3 September). That is the same amount that Boris Johnson allocated to “NHS” test and trace (provided by private companies). Astonishing.
Jeanne Warren
Oxford

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