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UPSC Syllabus for IAS Preliminary & Mains- Physics exam 2019

Civil Service Exam Syllabus (Preliminary & Mains) – Physics

Civil Service Exam Syllabus (Preliminary) – Physics

1. Mechanics and Waves

  • Dimensional analysis. Newton’s laws of motion and applications, variable mass systems, projectiles. Rotational dynamics-kinetic energy, angular momentum, theorems of moment of intertia and calculations in simple cases. Conservative forces, frictional forces. Gravitaional potential and intensity due to spherical objects. Central forces, Kepler’s problem, escape velocity and artificial satellites (including GPS). Streamline motion, viscosity, Poiseuille’s equation. Applications of Bernoulli’s equation and Stokes’ law.
  • Special relativity and Lorentz transformation-length contraction, time dilation, mass-energy relation.
  • Simple harmonic motion, Lissajous figures. Damped oscillation, forced oscillation and resonance. Beats, Phase and group velocities. Stationary waves, vibration of strings and air columns, longitudinal waves in solids. Doppler effect. Ultrasonics and applications.

2. Geometrical and Physical Optics.

  • Laws of reflection and refraction from Fermat’s principle. Matrix method in paraxial optics- thin lens formula, nodal planes, system of two thin lenses. Chromatic and spherical aberrations. Simple optical instruments-magnifier, eyepieces, telescopes and microscopes.
  • Huygens’ principle-reflection and refraction of waves. Interference of light-Young’s experiment, Newton’s rings, interference by thin films, Michelson interferometer. Fraunhofer diffraction-single slit, double slit, diffraction grating, resolving power. Fresnel diffraction-half-period zones and zone plate. Production and detection of linearly, circularly and elliptically polarised light. Double refraction, quarter-waves plates and half-wave plates. Polarizing sheets. Optical activity and applications. Rayleigh scattering and applications.
  • Elements of fibre optics-attenuation; pulse dispersion in step index and parabolic index fibres; material dispersion. Lasers, characteristics of laser light-spatial and temporal coherence. Focussing of laser beams and applciations.

3. Heat and Thermodynamics

  • Thermal equilibrium and temperature. The zeroth law of thermodynamics. Heat and the first law of thermodynamics. Efficiency of Carnot engines. Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. Kinetic theory and the equation of state of an ideal gas. Mean free path, distribution of molecular speeds and energies. Trasport phenomena. Andrew’s experiements-van der Waals equation and applications. Joule-Kelvin effect and applications. Brownian motion. Thermodynamic potentials-Maxwell relations. Phase transitions. Kirchhoff’s laws. Black-body radiation-Stefan-Boltzmann law, spectral radiancy, Wien displacement law, application to the cosmic microwave background radiation, Planck radiation law.

4. Electricity and Magnetism

  • Electric charge, Coulomb’s law, electric field, Gauss’ law. Electric potential, van de Graff accelerator. Capacitors, dielectrics and polarization. Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s first and second rules, resistors in series and parallel, applications to two-loop circuits. Magnietic field-Gauss’law for magnetism, atomic and nuclear magnetism, magnetic susceptibility, classification of magnetic materials. Cirulating charges, cyclotron, synchrotron. Hall effect. Biot-Savart law, Ampere’s law, Faraday’s law of induction., Lenz’s law. Inductance. Alternating current circuits-RC, LR, single-loop LRC circuits, impedance, resonance, power in AC circuits. Displacement current, Maxwell’s equations (MKS units), electromagnetic waves, energy transport and Poynting vector.

5. Atomic and Nuclear Physics

  • Photoelectric effect, Einstein’s photon theory. Bohr’s theory of hydrogen atom. Stern-Gerlach experiment, quantisation of angular momentum, electron spin. Pauli exclusion principle and applications. Zeeman effect. X-ray spectrum, Bragg’s law, Bohr’s theory of the Mosley plot. Compton effect, Compton wavelength. Wave nature of matter, de Broglie wavelength, wave-particle duality. Heisenberg’s uncertainty relationships. Schroedinger’s equation-eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of (i) particle in a box, (ii) simple harmonic oscillator and (iii) hydrogen atom. Potential step and barrier penetration. Natural and artificial radioactivity. Binding energy of nuclei, nuclear fission and fusion. Classification of elementary particles and their interactions.

6. Electronics

  • Diodes in half-waves and full-wave rectification, qualitative ideas of semiconductors, p type and n type semiconductors, junction diode, Zener diode, transistors, binary numbers, Logic gates and truth tables, Elements of microprocessors and computers.

Civil Service Exam Syllabus for IAS Main Exam – Physics – Paper – I &  II

Paper-I

1. (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 reference frames.

(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-Morley 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.

2. Waves and Optics:

(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) Geometrical Optics:

  • Laws of reflection and refraction from Fermat’s principle; Matrix method in paraxial optics-thin lens formula, nodal planes, system of two thin lenses, chromatic and spherical aberrations.

(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) Polarization 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 fibres; 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.

3. 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, polarization; Solutions to boundary-value problems-conducting and dielectric spheres in a uniform electric field; Magnetic shell, uniformly magnetized 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 r m s values in AC circuits; DC and AC circuits with R, L and C components; Series and parallel resonances; Quality factor; Principle of transformer.

(c) 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 Maxwell’s equations; 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, Stefan-Boltzmann law, Wien’s displacement law and Rayleigh-Jeans’ law.

4. 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-Boltzman 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 applications; 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.

Paper-II

1. Quantum Mechanics:

  • Wave-particle dualitiy; Schroedinger equation and expectation values; Uncertainty principle; Solutions of the one-dimensional Schroedinger equation for a 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 matrices.

2. Atomic and Molecular Physics:

  • Stern-Gerlach experiment, electron spin, fine structure of hydrogen atom; L-S coupling, J-J coupling; Spectroscopic notation of atomic states.
  • Zeeman effect; Frank-Condon principle and applications; Elementary theory of rotational, vibratonal 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 significance.

3. 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 deuteron, magnetic moment and non-central forces; Meson theory of nuclear forces; Salient features of nuclear forces; Shell model of the nucleus – successes 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.

4. 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 semiconductors; Thermal properties of solids, specific heat, Debye theory; Magnetism: dia, para and ferromagnetism; Elements of superconductivity, Meissner effect, Josephson junctions and applications; Elementary ideas about high temperature superconductivity.

Intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors; 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

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