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GATE 2020 Physics Syllabus

Last Updated - July 19, 2019

GATE Physics syllabus will have core physics and general aptitude topics. Mainly the questions are asked from core Physics and rest of the questions are asked from general aptitude topics. Physics is one of the most competitive exam for GATE aspirants. The online entrance exam GATE 2020 will be held from February 01, 02, 08 and 9, 2020.

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Physics is the natural science that studies matter and its motion and behavior through space and time and that studies the related entities of energy and force. GATE exam for Physics will be of 100 marks. The duration for the exam is three hours. In this article, we are providing the complete syllabus for GATE Physics.

Direct link to download GATE Physics(PH) syllabus PDF 


GATE Syllabus for Physics

GATE Physics syllabus is spread across eight sections. Candidates can check the following section to know the GATE syllabus for physics which are given below:

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistics Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Solid State Physics & Electronics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics

Section 1: Mathematical Physics

Linear vector space: basis, orthogonality and completeness; matrices; vector calculus; linear differential equations; elements of complex analysis: Cauchy Riemann conditions, Cauchy’s theorems, singularities, residue theorem and applications; Laplace transforms, Fourier analysis; elementary ideas about tensors: covariant and contravariant tensor, Levi-Civita and Christoffel symbols.

Section 2: Classical Mechanics

Alembert’s principle, cyclic coordinates, variational principle, Lagrange’s equation of motion, central force and scattering problems, rigid body motion; small oscillations, Hamilton’s formalisms; Poisson bracket; special theory of relativity: Lorentz transformations, relativistic kinematics, mass‐energy equivalence.

Section 3: Electromagnetic Theory

Solutions of electrostatic and magnetostatic problems including boundary value problems; dielectrics and conductors; Maxwell’s equations; scalar and vector potentials; Coulomb and Lorentz gauges; Electromagnetic waves and their reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction and polarization; Poynting vector, Poynting theorem, energy and momentum of electromagnetic waves; radiation from a moving charge.

Section 4: Quantum Mechanics

Postulates of quantum mechanics; uncertainty principle; Schrodinger equation; one-, two- and three-dimensional potential problems; particle in a box, transmission through one dimensional potential barriers, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom; linear vectors and operators in Hilbert space; angular momentum and spin; addition of angular momenta; time independent perturbation theory; elementary scattering theory.

Section 5: Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

Laws of thermodynamics; macrostates and microstates; phase space; ensembles; partition function, free energy, calculation of thermodynamic quantities; classical and quantum statistics; degenerate Fermi gas; black body radiation and Planck’s distribution law; Bose‐Einstein condensation; first and second order phase transitions, phase equilibria, critical point.

Section 6: Atomic and Molecular Physics

Spectra of one‐ and many‐electron atoms; LS and jj coupling; hyperfine structure; Zeeman and Stark effects; electric dipole transitions and selection rules; rotational and vibrational spectra of diatomic molecules; electronic transition in diatomic molecules, Franck‐Condon principle; Raman effect; NMR, ESR, X-ray spectra; lasers: Einstein coefficients, population inversion, two and three level systems.

Section 7: Solid State Physics & Electronics

Elements of crystallography; diffraction methods for structure determination; bonding in solids; lattice vibrations and thermal properties of solids; free electron theory; band theory of solids: nearly free electron and tight binding models; metals, semiconductors and insulators; conductivity, mobility and effective mass; optical, dielectric and magnetic properties of solids; elements of superconductivity: Type-I and Type II superconductors, Meissner effect, London equation. Semiconductor devices: diodes, Bipolar Junction Transistors, Field Effect Transistors; operational amplifiers: negative feedback circuits, active filters and oscillators; regulated power supplies; basic digital logic circuits, sequential circuits, flip‐flops, counters, registers, A/D and D/A conversion.

Section 8: Nuclear and Particle Physics

Nuclear radii and charge distributions, nuclear binding energy, Electric and magnetic moments; nuclear models, liquid drop model: semi‐empirical mass formula, Fermi gas model of nucleus, nuclear shell model; nuclear force and two nucleon problem; alpha decay, beta‐decay, electromagnetic transitions in nuclei; Rutherford scattering, nuclear reactions, conservation laws; fission and fusion; particle accelerators and detectors; elementary particles, photons, baryons, mesons and leptons; quark model.


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