GATE PH Syllabus 2025: Physics



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Explore the comprehensive GATE Physics (PH) syllabus for 2024 to kickstart your exam preparation and achieve success.

GATE PH Syllabus 2024 – GATE 2024 exam will be conduct by IISc, Bangalore on dates 3, 4 and 10, 11 February, 2024.

Here we have provided latest Physics syllabus & paper pattern for GATE 2024 aspirants. All candidates with Physics subject are advised to download this latest syllabus before starting their GATE 2024 exam preparation.

GATE 2024 Highlights

GATE 2024 Conducting BodyIISc, Bangalore
GATE 2024 Exam Date3, 4, 10, 11 February, 2024
GATE 2024 Total Subjects30
GATE 2024 Exam ModeONLINE Computer Based Test (CBT)
GATE 2024 Exam Duration3 hours (180 minutes)
GATE 2024 Total Questions10 (GA) + 55 (subject)= 65
GATE 2024 Total Marks100
GATE 2024 Question TypeMCQ, MSQ, NAT

GATE Physics Engineering Paper Pattern 2024

Paper SectionsMarks Distribution
Subject Questions85% of the total marks.
General Aptitude15% of the total marks.

GATE Physics Engineering Syllabus 2024 PDF

General Aptitude Syllabus (Common to all papers) [pdf] Download
GATE Syllabus for Physics (PH) [pdf] Download

GATE Physics Syllabus for Core Subjects 2024

Mathematical Physics
  • Basic Tensor Ideas: Covering the two main types of covariant and contravariant tensors
  • Cauchy’s Theorem: Cauchy-Riemann conditions, singularities, residue theorem, and applications, including laplace transforms and fourier analysis
  • Vector Calculus: Matrices, similarity transformations and diagonalization, along with eigenvalues and eigenvectors, Base, orthogonality, and completeness in linear vector space
  • Linear differential equations: Special function-based solutions to second-order linear differential equations
Classical Mechanics
  • Symmetry and conservation rules
  • D’Alembert’s principle
  • Euler-Lagrange equation
  • Hamilton’s principle
  • Calculus of variations
  • Small oscillations: coupled oscillations and normal modes
  • The study of central force motion, which includes analyzing the Kepler problem and Rutherford scattering
  • Hamiltonian and Hamilton’s equations of motion
  • Liouville’s theorem
  • Canonical transformations involving the use of action-angle variables, Poisson brackets, and the Hamilton-Jacobi equation
  • Inertia tensor, orthogonal transformations, and Euler angles included in rigid body dynamics
  • Torque-free motion of asymmetric top

Special Theory of Relativity:

  • Relativistic kinematics
  • Lorentz transformations
  • Mass-energy equivalence

Electromagnetic Theory

  • Challenges related to electrostatic and magnetostatic phenomena, which involve addressing boundary value problems
  • Image method
  • Variable separation
  • Dielectrics and conductors
  • Magnetic materials
  • Multipole expansion
  • Maxwell’s equations
  • Scalar and vector potentials
  • Coulomb and Lorentz gauges
  • The propagation of electromagnetic waves in different mediums, including free space, non-conducting materials, and conducting materials
  • Reflection and transmission at normal and oblique incidences
  • Electromagnetic wave polarization
  • Poynting vector
  • Poynting theorem
  • Energy and velocity of electromagnetic waves
  • Radiation from a moving charge
Quantum Mechanics
  • Postulates of quantum mechanics
  • Uncertainty principle
  • Schrödinger equation
  • The utilization of Dirac’s Bra-Ket notation, linear vectors, and operators in Hilbert space.
  • Analysis of various potentials such as step potentials, finite rectangular wells, tunneling from a potential barrier, particles in a box, harmonic oscillators, and one-dimensional potentials
  • Study of degeneracy in two and three dimensions
  • Understanding the hydrogen atom
  • Examination of angular momentum and spin
  • Addition of angular moments
  • Application of the variational method and WKB approximation
  • Exploration of time-independent perturbation theory
  • Introduction to elementary scattering theory
  • Utilization of the Born approximation
Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
  • Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Macrostates and Microstates
  • Phase Space
  • Ensembles
  • Partition Function, Free Energy, and Calculation of Thermodynamic Quantities
  • Classical and Quantum Statistics
  • First and Second-Order Phase Transitions, Phase Equilibria, and Critical Points
  • Degenerate Fermi Gas
  • Black Body Radiation and Planck’s Distribution Law
  • Bose-Einstein Condensation
Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Analysis of the spectra of atoms with one or multiple electrons
  • Interactions between spin and orbit in LS and JJ couplings
  • Examination of fine and hyperfine structures
  • Effects of Zeeman and Stark on Atomic Systems
  • Transitions governed by electric dipole interactions and associated selection rules
  • Study of the rotational and vibrational spectra of molecules with two atoms
  • Understanding electronic transitions in molecules with two atoms
  • Application of the Franck-Condon principle in molecular transitions
  • Investigation of the Raman effect in the scattering of light by molecules
  • Exploration of spectroscopic techniques such as EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance), NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), ESR (Electron Spin Resonance), and X-ray spectra
  • Understanding lasers and their operation, including Einstein coefficients and the concept of population inversion
Solid State Physics
  • Study of the free electron theory and the band theory of solids
  • Classification of materials: metals, semiconductors, and insulators
  • Conductivity, mobility, and effective mass
  • Crystallography and diffraction methods for structure determination
  • Bonding in solids
  • Lattice vibrations and thermal properties of solids
  • Exploration of the optical properties of solids, including the Kramers-Kronig relation and transitions within and between energy bands
  • Investigation of dielectric properties of solids, including the dielectric function, polarizability, and the phenomenon of ferroelectricity
  • Magnetic properties of solids: dia-, para-, ferro-, antiferro-, and ferri-magnetism, magnetic anisotropy
  • Superconductivity: Type-I and Type-II superconductors, Meissner effect, London equation, BCS Theory, flux quantization
  • Semiconductors in Equilibrium:
    • The analysis of electron and hole statistics in both intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors
    • Metal-semiconductor junctions and their behavior
    • Ohmic and rectifying contacts
    • PN diodes and their characteristics
    • Bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) and their operation
    • Field-effect transistors (FETs) and their behavior
  • Negative and Positive Feedback Circuits:
    • Oscillators and their functioning
    • Operational amplifiers and their applications
    • Active filters and their usage
  • Basic Digital Logic Circuits:
    • Combinational and sequential circuits
    • Flip-flops and their behavior
    • Timers, counters, and registers
    • A/D (Analog-to-Digital) and D/A (Digital-to-Analog) conversion
Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Nuclear Structure:
    • Nuclear radii, charge distributions, and electric and magnetic moments
    • Semi-empirical mass formula for nuclear binding energy
    • Models used to describe atomic nuclei, namely the liquid drop model and the nuclear shell model
  • Nuclear Interactions and Reactions:
    • Nuclear force and the two-nucleon problem
    • Alpha, beta, and electromagnetic transitions in nuclei
    • Rutherford scattering and nuclear reactions
    • Conservation laws in nuclear reactions
  • Nuclear Energy:
    • Fission and fusion processes
    • Particle accelerators and their role in studying nuclear reactions
    • Detectors used in nuclear physics experiments
  • Elementary Particles:
    • Classification of elementary particles: photons, baryons, mesons, and leptons
    • Introduction to the quark model
  • Symmetries in Particle Physics:
    • Conservation laws in particle interactions
    • Isospin symmetry
    • Charge conjugation, parity, and time-reversal invariance

GATE Physics Engineering Guidance

GATE Physics Syllabus & Exam Pattern FAQs

What is the syllabus for GATE Physics?

The syllabus for GATE Physics includes subjects like Mathematical Physics, Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetic Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Solid State Physics, and Nuclear and Particle Physics.

Is the GATE Physics syllabus subject to change?

The core subjects of the GATE Physics syllabus remain relatively stable. However, it's important to check the official GATE website for any updates or changes in the syllabus before starting your preparation.

Are there any specific topics within each subject that are more important for GATE Physics?

While the entire syllabus is important, some topics carry more weightage than others. For example, in Mathematical Physics, topics like Linear Algebra, Calculus, and Complex Analysis are crucial.

In Quantum Mechanics, topics like Wave-particle duality, Schrödinger equation, and Angular momentum are significant.

What is the exam pattern for GATE Physics?

The GATE Physics exam consists of a total of 65 questions, with a duration of 3 hours. The question paper is divided into two sections: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions.

MCQs carry 1 or 2 marks each, while NAT questions carry 1 or 2 marks each. There is negative marking for incorrect answers in MCQs.

Is there a specific weightage assigned to each subject in the GATE Physics exam?

No, there is no specific weightage assigned to each subject. The distribution of questions can vary from year to year.

However, it is generally observed that questions related to core subjects like Quantum Mechanics, Electromagnetic Theory, and Thermodynamics have a significant presence in the exam.

Are there any recommended books or resources to cover the entire GATE Physics syllabus?

Some popular books for GATE Physics preparation include 'Introduction to Electrodynamics' by David J. Griffiths, 'Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications' by Nouredine Zettili, 'Statistical Mechanics' by R.K. Pathria, and 'Solid State Physics' by Ashcroft and Mermin. Additionally, previous years' question papers and study materials from reputed coaching institutes can be helpful.

Are there any specific reference books for numerical problem-solving in GATE Physics?

Yes, books like 'Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering' by K.F. Riley, M.P. Hobson, and S.J. Bence, 'Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications' by Nouredine Zettili, and 'Statistical Mechanics' by R.K. Pathria provide insights into numerical problem-solving in Physics.

Is it necessary to study Solid State Physics for the GATE Physics exam?

Yes, Solid State Physics is an important topic in the GATE Physics syllabus. It's essential to have a basic understanding of concepts such as Crystal Structure, Band Theory, and Semiconductor Physics.

Are there any online resources or mock tests available for GATE Physics preparation?

Yes, there are several online platforms and websites that offer free and paid resources for GATE Physics preparation. Some popular ones include Gradeup, GateForum, and Made Easy.

These platforms offer online lectures, study materials, and mock tests specifically designed for GATE Physics.

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