GATE Syllabus

GATE 2020 Physics Syllabus

GATE 2020 syllabus for Physics (PH) is released by IIT Delhi, which is organizing GATE in 2020. For all list of All GATE organizing institutes please refer to the year-wise list of GATE organizing institutes. IIT Delhi has released GATE 2020 syllabus for all 25 subjects as well as a candidate can see a list of subjects and paper codes. The candidate is allowed to appear only in one paper in any one session.


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GATE Syllabus is important to know for GATE preparation and assessments. General Aptitude Syllabus is compulsory and common for all GATE 2020 papers. GATE 2020 syllabus for Physics (PH) follows.

GATE 2020 syllabus for Physics (PH)
General Aptitude (GA)

Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction.

Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation.

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

D’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 threedimensional 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, criticalpoint.

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.

We know GATE preparation is hard and need lots of motivation, do read GATE MotivationGATE Toppers Interviews and personals from Zahid to get energy flowing. In case you have questions do use InI Question Answer platform to discuss doubts. For more information and better preparation keep following us InI GATE students can visit GATE 2020 official website too.

Wish you a great Luck !!


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