North and south are not poles apart | Physics

Your claim that “at least north is still north” (Terrawatch, 6 January) sounds as reassuring as it is wrong. I’ve always taught my students that opposite poles attract. The north pole of a free magnet will point north. Therefore the earth’s north pole must be a south pole. Historically, north has sometimes been north, but currently it is south. Oddly, my students found my teaching methods confusing.
Matt Atkinson
CEO, Lighthouse Learning Multi-Academy Trust, Southampton

• As a participant in the Oxford University/ONS Covid-19 infection survey, I provided a mouth and nose swab on 14 December. On 6 January I received a letter, dated 4 January, informing me three-plus weeks later that I do not have a “current” infection.
Graeme Innes-Johnstone
Elland, West Yorkshire

• Rather than keeping artificial decorations (Light brigade: the Christmas holdouts keeping their decorations up, 6 January), I added two bunches of daffodils and tulips to my shopping basket yesterday – for hope and cheer to come.
Monika Butler
Skipton, North Yorkshire

• Surely John Stones’s goal for Manchester City against Manchester United that deflected off his “inner thigh” (Report, 6 January) should have been ruled “off-thighed”?
Steve Tompkins
Stanton in Peak, Derbyshire

• In a bid to end the correspondence about naming the Severn Bridge (Letters, 4 January), may I suggest Bridgey McBridgeface, which I’m sure will get the popular vote.
John Stockting
Gatley, Greater Manchester


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