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Home » IAS Exam Subjects » Civil Services Syllabus » Physics

Physics - Optional

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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Physics (Optional) Syllabus for Preliminary Examination

1. Mechanics and Waves
Dimensional analysis. Newtons 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 poten

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tial and intensity due to spherical objects. Central forces, Keplers problem, escape velocity and artificial satellites (including GPS). Streamline motion, viscosity, Poiseuilles equation. Applications of Bernoullis 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 Fermats 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-Youngs experiment, Newtons 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. Andrews experiements-van der Waals equation and applications. Joule-Kelvin effect and applications. Brownian motion. Thermodynamic potentials-Maxwell relations. Phase transitions. Kirchhoffs 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, Coulombs law, electric field, Gauss law. Electric potential, van de Graff accelerator. Capacitors, dielectrics and polarization. Ohms law, Kirchhoffs first and second rules, resistors in series and parallel, applications to two-loop circuits. Magnietic field-Gausslaw for magnetism, atomic and nuclear magnetism, magnetic susceptibility, classification of magnetic materials. Cirulating charges, cyclotron, synchrotron. Hall effect. Biot-Savart law, Amperes law, Faradays law of induction., Lenzs law. Inductance. Alternating current circuits-RC, LR, single-loop LRC circuits, impedance, resonance, power in AC circuits. Displacement current, Maxwells equations (MKS units), electromagnetic waves, energy transport and Poynting vector.
5. Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Photoelectric effect, Einsteins photon theory. Bohrs theory of hydrogen atom. Stern-Gerlach experiment, quantisation of angular momentum, electron spin. Pauli exclusion principle and applications. Zeeman effect. X-ray spectrum, Braggs law, Bohrs theory of the Mosley plot. Compton effect, Compton wavelength. Wave nature of matter, de Broglie wavelength, wave-particle duality. Heisenbergs uncertainty relationships. Schroedingers 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. Physics (Optional) Syllabus for Main Examination

Paper-I
Section-A


1. Classical Mechanics
(a) Particle dynamics
Centre of mass and laboratory coordinates, conservation of linear and angular momentum. The rocket equation. Rutherford scattering, Galilean transformation, intertial and non-inertial frames, rotating frames, centrifugal and Coriolis forces, Foucault pendulum.
(b) System of particles
Constraints, degrees of freedom, generalised coordinates and momenta. Lagranges equation and applications to linear harmonic oscillator, simple pendulum and central force problems. Cyclic coordinates, Hamilitonian Lagranges equation from Hamiltons principle.
(c) Rigid body dynamics
Eulerian angles, inertia tensor, principal moments of inertia. Eulers equation of motion of a rigid body, force-free motion of a rigid body. Gyroscope.
2. Special Relativity, Waves & Geometrical Optics
(a) Special Relativity
Michelson-Morley experiment and its implications. Lorentz transformations-length contraction, time dilation, addition of velocities, aberration and Doppler effect, mass-energy relation, simple applications to a decay process. Minkowski diagram, four dimensional momentum vector. Covariance of equations of physics.
(b) 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.
(c) Geometrical Optics
Laws of relfection and refraction from Fermats principle. Matrix method in paraxial optic-thin lens formula, nodal planes, system of two thin lenses, chromatic and spherical aberrations.
3. Physical Optics
(a) Interference
Interference of light-Youngs experiment, Newtons rings, interference by thin films, Michelson interferometer. Multiple beam interference and Fabry-Perot interferometer. Holography and simple applications.
(b) Diffraction
Fraunhofer diffraction-single slit, double slit, diffraction grating, resolving power. Fresnel diffraction: - half-period zones and zones plates. Fresnel integrals. Application of Cornus spiral to the analysis of diffraction at a straight edge and by a long narrow slit. Diffraction by a circular aperture and the Airy pattern.
(c) Polarisation and Modern Optics
Production and detection of linearly and circularly polarised 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. Focussing of laser beams. Three-level scheme for laser operation.

Section-B
4. Electricity and Magnetism
(a) Electrostatics and Magnetostatics
Laplace ad 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 bounary-value problems-conducting and dielectric spheres in a uniform electric field. Magentic shell, uniformly magnetised sphere. Ferromagnetic materials, hysteresis, energy loss.
(b) Current Electricity
Kirchhoffs laws and their applications. Biot-Savart law, Amperes law, Faradays law, Lenz law. Self-and mutual-inductances. Mean and rms values in AC circuits. LR CR and LCR circuits- series and parallel resonance. Quality factor. Principal of transformer.
5. Electromagnetic Theory & Black Body Radiation
(a) Electromagnetic Theory
Displacement current and Maxwells equatons. Wave equations in vacuum, Poynting theorem. Vector and scalar potentials. Gauge invariance, Lorentz and Coulomb gauges. Electromagnetic field tensor, covariance of Maxwells equations. Wave equations in isotropic dielectrics, reflection and refraction at the boundary of two dielectrics. Fresnels relations. Normal and anomalous dispersion. Rayleigh scattering.
(b) Blackbody radiation
Balckbody radiation and Planck radiation law- Stefan-Boltzmann law, Wien displacement law and Rayleigh-Jeans law. Planck mass, Planck length, Planck time,. Planck temperature and Planck energy.
6. Thermal and Statistical Physics
(a) Thremodynamics
Laws of thermodynamics, reversible and irreversible processes, entropy. Isothermal, adiabatic, isobaric, isochoric processes and entropy change. 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 Debyes 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
Saha ionization formula. Bose-Einstein condenssation. Thermodynamic behaviour of an ideal Fermi gas, Chandrasekhar limit, elementary ideas about neutron stars and pulsars. Brownian motion as a random walk, diffusion process. Concept of negative temperatures.

Paper-II
Section-A

1. Quantum Mechanics I
Wave-particle dualitiy. Schroedinger equation and expectation values. Uncertainty principle. Solutions of the one-dimensional Schroedinger equation free particle (Gaussian wave-packet), particle in a box, particle in a finite well, linear harmonic oscillator. Reflection and transmission by a potential step and by a rectangular barrier. Use of WKB formula for the life-time calcuation in the alpha-decay problem.
2. Quantum Mechanics II & Atomic Physics
(a) Quantum Mechanics II
Particle in a three dimensional box, density of states, free electron theory of metals. The angular meomentum problem. The hydrogen atom. The spin half problem and properties of Pauli spin matrices.
(b) Atomic Physics
Stern-Gerlack 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.
3. Molecular Physics
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. Elementary ideas about Lamb shift and its significance.

Section-B
4. Nuclear 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.
5. Particle Physics & Solid State Physics
(a) Particle Physics
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.
(b) Solid State Physics
Cubic crystal structure. Band theory of solids- conductors, insulators and semiconductors. Elements of superconductivity, Meissner effect, Josephson junctions and applications. Elementary ideas about high temperature superconductivity.
6. Electronics
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 Morgans laws, Logic gates and truth tables., Simple logic circuits. Thermistors, solar cells. Fundamentals of microprocessors and digital computers.




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