The following is the syllabus for
Physics - Main Examination - Paper I and
Physics SYLLABUS for PAPER - 1
Venkanna Sir/Manpreet Sir
(a) Mechanics of Particles :
Laws of motion; conservation of energy and momentum, applications to rotating frames,
centripetal and Coriolis accelerations; Motion under a central force; Conservation of
angular momentum, Kepler’s laws; Fields and potentials; Gravitational field and
potential due to spherical bodies, Gauss and Poisson equations, gravitational self-energy;
Two-body problem; Reduced mass; Rutherford scattering; Centre of mass and laboratory
(b) Mechanics of Rigid Bodies :
System of particles; Centre of mass, angular momentum, equations of motion;
Conservation theorems for energy, momentum and angular momentum; Elastic and
inelastic collisions; Rigid Body; Degrees of freedom, Euler’s theorem, angular velocity,
angular momentum, moments of inertia, theorems of parallel and perpendicular axes,
equation of motion for rotation; Molecular rotations (as rigid bodies); Di and tri-atomic
molecules; Precessional motion; top, gyroscope.
(c) Mechanics of Continuous Media :
Elasticity, Hooke’s law and elastic constants of isotropic solids and their inter-relation;
Streamline (Laminar) flow, viscosity, Poiseuille’s equation, Bernoulli’s equation, Stokes’
law and applications.
(d) Special Relativity :
Michelson-Morely experiment and its implications; Lorentz transformations length
contraction, time dilation, addition of relativistic velocities, aberration and Doppler
effect, mass-energy relation, simple applications to a decay process. Four dimensional
momentum vector; Covariance of equations of physics. .
Waves and Optics
Venkanna Sir/Manpreet Sir
(a) Waves :
Simple harmonic motion, damped oscillation, forced oscillation and resonance; Beats;
Stationary waves in a string; Pulses and wave packets; Phase and group velocities;
Reflection and refraction from Huygens’ principle.
(b) Geometrial Optics :
Laws of reflection and refraction from Fermat’s principle; Matrix method in paraxial
optic-thin lens formula, nodal planes, system of two thin lenses, chromatic and spherical
(c) Interference :
Interference of light -Young’s experiment, Newton’s rings, interference by thin films,
Michelson interferometer; Multiple beam interference and Fabry Perot interferometer.
(d) Diffraction :
Fraunhofer diffraction - single slit, double slit, diffraction grating, resolving power;
Diffraction by a circular aperture and the Airy pattern; Fresnel diffraction: half-period
zones and zone plates, circular aperture.
(e) Polarisation and Modern Optics :
Production and detection of linearly and circularly polarized light; Double refraction,
quarter wave plate; Optical activity; Principles of fibre optics, attenuation; Pulse
dispersion in step index and parabolic index fibres; Material dispersion, single mode
fibers; Lasers-Einstein A and B coefficients. Ruby and He-Ne lasers. Characteristics of
laser light-spatial and temporal coherence; Focusing of laser beams. Three-level scheme
for laser operation; Holography and simple applications
Electricity and Magnetism
(a) Electrostatics and Magnetostatics :
Laplace and Poisson equations in electrostatics and their applications; Energy of a system
of charges, multipole expansion of scalar potential; Method of images and its applications.
Potential and field due to a dipole, force and torque on a dipole in an external field;
Dielectrics, polarisation. Solutions to boundary-value problems-conducting and dielectric
spheres in a uniform electric field; Magnetic shell, uniformly magnetised sphere;
Ferromagnetic materials, hysteresis, energy loss.
(b) Current Electricity :
Kirchhoff's laws and their applications. Biot-Savart law, Ampere’s law, Faraday’s law,
Lenz’ law. Self-and mutual- inductances; Mean and rms values in AC circuits; DC and AC
circuits with R, L and C components; Series and parallel resonance; Quality factor;
Principle of transformer.
Electromagnetic Waves and Blackbody Radiation
Displacement current and Maxwell’s equations; Wave equations in vacuum, Poynting
theorem; Vector and scalar potentials; Electromagnetic field tensor, covariance of
Wave equations in isotropic dielectrics, reflection and refraction at the boundary of two
dielectrics; Fresnel’s relations; Total internal reflection; Normal and anomalous
dispersion; Rayleigh scattering; Blackbody radiation and Planck ’s radiation law- StefanBoltzmann law, Wien’s displacement law and Rayleigh-Jeans law.
Thermal and Statistical Physics
(a) Thermodynamics :
Laws of thermodynamics, reversible and irreversible processes, entropy; Isothermal,
adiabatic, isobaric, isochoric processes and entropy changes; Otto and Diesel engines,
Gibbs’ phase rule and chemical potential; Van der Waals equation of state of a real gas,
critical constants; Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecular velocities, transport
phenomena, equipartition and virial theorems; Dulong-Petit, Einstein, and Debye’s
theories of specific heat of solids; Maxwell relations and application; Clausius-Clapeyron
equation. Adiabatic demagnetisation, Joule-Kelvin effect and liquefaction of gases.
(b) Statistical Physics :
Macro and micro states, statistical distributions, Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and
Fermi-Dirac Distributions, applications to specific heat of gases and blackbody radiation;
Concept of negative temperatures.
PHYSICS SYLLABUS for PAPER 2
Wave-particle duality; Schroedinger equation and expectation values; Uncertainty
principle; Solutions of the one-dimensional Schroedinger equation for free particle
(Gaussian wave-packet), particle in a box, particle in a finite well, linear harmonic
oscillator; Reflection and transmission by a step potential and by a rectangular barrier;
Particle in a three dimensional box, density of states, free electron theory of metals;
Angular momentum; Hydrogen atom; Spin half particles, properties of Pauli spin
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Stern-Gerlach experiment, electron spin, fine structure of hydrozen atom; L-S
coupling, J-J coupling; Spectroscopic notation of atomic states; Zeeman effect; FranckCondon principle and applications; Elementary theory of rotational, vibrational and
electronic spectra of diatomic molecules; Raman effect and molecular structure; Laser
Raman spectroscopy; Importance of neutral hydrogen atom, molecular hydrogen and
molecular hydrogen ion in astronomy. Fluorescence and Phosphorescence; Elementary
theory and applications of NMR and EPR; Elementary ideas about Lamb shift and its
Nuclear and Particle Physics
Basic nuclear properties-size, binding energy, angular momentum, parity, magnetic
moment; Semi-empirical mass formula and applications. Mass parabolas; Ground state
of a deuteron, magnetic moment and non-central forces; Meson theory of nuclear forces;
Salient features of nuclear forces; Shell model of the nucleus - success and limitations;
Violation of parity in beta decay; Gamma decay and internal conversion; Elementary
ideas about Mossbauer spectroscopy; Q-value of nuclear reactions; Nuclear fission and
fusion, energy production in stars. Nuclear reactors.
Classification of elementary particles and their interactions; Conservation laws;
Quark structure of hadrons : Field quanta of electroweak and strong interactions;
Elementary ideas about unification of forces; Physics of neutrinos.
Solid State Physics, Devices and Electronics
Crystalline and amorphous structure of matter; Different crystal systems, space
groups; Methods of determination of crystal structure; X-ray diffraction, scanning and
transmission electron microscopies; Band theory of solids—conductors, insulators and
semi-conductors; Thermal properties of solids, specific heat, Debye theory; Magnetism:
dia, para and ferromagnetism; Elements of super-conductivity, Meissner effect,
Josephson junctions and applications; Elementary ideas about high temperature superconductivity.
Intrinsic and extrinsic semi-conductors- p-n-p and n-p-n transistors; Amplifiers and
oscillators. Op-amps; FET, JFET and MOSFET; Digital electronics-Boolean identities, De
Morgan’s laws, Logic gates and truth tables. Simple logic circuits; Thermistors, solar cells;
Fundamentals of microprocessors and digital computers.
Online Classroom Sessions
The course comprises of online classroom sessions for a duration of 300 hours.
Click here to check the weekly timetable schedule for the course.
The following are the suggested books / references that the students can consult
while preparing for PHYSICS - Mains Examination - Paper I and Paper II.
Mechanics of Particals (JC Upadhyaya/Kleppner and Kolenkow)
Waves and Optics – ( Ajoy Ghatak)
Electricity and Magnetism (D.J. Griffiths)
Thermal and Statistical Physics – (Garg, Bansal
and Ghosh/ Blundell & Blundell)
Quantum Mechanics ( D.J. Griffiths)
Atomic and Molecular Physics (Banwell/ Raj Kumar)
Nuclear and Particle Physics (S.N. Ghoshal/ Ashok Das & T. Ferbel)
Solid State Physics and Electronics (JP Srivastava/Puri and Babbar)
Popularity of PHYSICS as an optional subject
The following are the suggested books / references that the students can consult
while preparing for PHYSICS - Main Examination - Paper I and Paper II.
PHYSICS is best fit as an optional for students who are passionate about the
Since this is logical subject, scoring is quite straightforward and rote-learning
is not required.
Engineering/PHYSICS Students can score very well in this subject as only standard
models of sums are asked in the question papers.
Suggestions for Preparation of PHYSICS Optional Subject
The following are simple preparation tips to score well in the
Main Examination - Paper I and Paper II
Prepare selective topics and be thorough in these problems.
If you ask me the top 3 topics to prepare,
1. Solid state Physics and Electronics ( Usaully 120 marks weightage)
2. Waves and Optics ( Usually 110 Marks weightage)
3. Mechanics of Particles (Usually 100 marks weightage)
Solve problems from previous years questions papers as the same models of the sums
normally repeat every year.
Solve each problem highlighting each step while arriving at the solution. Do not
skip any step thinking it is trivial.
Concentrated on the solved examples from B S Grewal Reference book suggested for
the UPSC exam.
Monitor your speed during practice and try to improve it. Lack of time is the main
challenge in this paper.
Joining the course
Students can register as a regular user for any of the courses offered by Indiancivils
by making the full payment for the course online.
As a regular user, students can
Gain access to the question bank of ALLSUBJECTS
of CSAT (Prelims) .
Gain access to the of the registered courses
for 12 Months.
Registered students would receive intimation about the
scheduled virtual classroom sessions
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sent to the registered mobile number 10 minutes
before the online session.