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UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Physics Notes - UPSC

Document Description: UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Physics for UPSC 2022 is part of UPSC preparation. The notes and questions for UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Physics have been prepared according to the UPSC exam syllabus. Information about UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Physics covers topics like Paper - I, Paper - II and UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Physics Example, for UPSC 2022 Exam. Find important definitions, questions, notes, meanings, examples, exercises and tests below for UPSC Optional Subject Syllabus: Physics.

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Table of contents
Paper - I
Paper - II
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Paper - I

1. 

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Interference: Interference of light-Young’s experiment,  Newton’s rings, interference by thin films, Michelson interferometer; Multiple beam  interference and Fabry-Perot interferometer. 
  • 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. 
  • 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

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 

  • 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. 
  • 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; pn- 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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