GATE Syllabus

GATE 2021 syllabus – PH: Physics

GATE 2021 syllabus for Physics (PH) gives you details of the latest GATE syllabus for the subject release by the official gate organizing institute IIT Bombay for the year 2021. We also created an easy to use ad-free mobile app for GATE syllabus, previous year papers with keys, gate calculator, virtual calculator, and more. Download iStudy App for all GATE preparation needs.

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GATE 2021 Syllabus – Physics (PH)

Section 1: Mathematical Physics

Vector calculus: linear vector space: basis, orthogonality and completeness; matrices; similarity transformations, diagonalization, eigenvalues and eigenvectors; linear differential equations: second order linear differential equations and solutions involving special functions; complex analysis: Cauchy-Riemann conditions, Cauchy’s theorem, singularities, residue theorem and applications; Laplace transform, Fourier analysis; elementary ideas about tensors: covariant and contravariant tensors.

Section 2: Classical Mechanics

Lagrangian formulation: D’Alembert’s principle, Euler-Lagrange equation, Hamilton’s principle, calculus of variations; symmetry and conservation laws; central force motion: Kepler problem and Rutherford scattering; small oscillations: coupled oscillations and normal modes; rigid body dynamics: interia tensor, orthogonal transformations, Euler angles, Torque free motion of a symmetric top; Hamiltonian and Hamilton’s equations of motion; Liouville’s theorem; canonical transformations: action-angle variables, Poisson brackets, Hamilton-Jacobi equation.

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; method of images; separation of variables; dielectrics and conductors; magnetic materials; multipole expansion; Maxwell’s equations; scalar and vector potentials; Coulomb and Lorentz gauges; electromagnetic waves in free space, nonconducting and conducting media; reflection and transmission at normal and oblique incidences; polarization of electromagnetic waves; 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; Dirac Bra-Ket notation, linear vectors and operators in Hilbert space; one dimensional potentials: step potential, finite rectangular well, tunneling from a potential barrier, particle in a box, harmonic oscillator; two and three dimensional systems: concept of degeneracy; hydrogen atom; angular momentum and spin; addition of angular momenta; variational method and WKB approximation, time independent perturbation theory; elementary scattering theory, Born approximation; symmetries in quantum mechanical systems.

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; spin-orbit interaction: LS and jj couplings; fine and hyperfine structures; Zeeman and Stark effects; electric dipole transitions and selection rules; rotational and vibrational spectra of diatomic molecules; electronic transitions in diatomic molecules, Franck-Condon principle; Raman effect; EPR, NMR, ESR, X-ray spectra; lasers: Einstein coefficients, population inversion, two and three level systems.

Section 7: Solid State Physics

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 properties of solids; Kramer’s-Kronig relation, intra- and inter-band transitions; dielectric properties of solid; dielectric function, polarizability, ferroelectricity; magnetic properties of solids; dia, para, ferro, antiferro and ferri-magnetism, domains and magnetic anisotropy; superconductivity: Type-I and Type II superconductors, Meissner effect, London equation, BCS Theory, flux quantization.

Section 8: Electronics

Semiconductors in equilibrium: electron and hole statistics in intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors; metal semiconductor junctions; Ohmic and rectifying contacts; PN diodes, bipolar junction transistors, field effect transistors; negative and positive feedback circuits; oscillators, operational amplifiers, active filters; basics of digital logic circuits, combinational and sequential circuits, flip-flops, timers, counters, registers, A/D and D/A conversion.

Section 9: Nuclear and Particle Physics

Nuclear radii and charge distributions, nuclear binding energy, electric and magnetic moments; semi-empirical mass formula; nuclear models; liquid drop model, 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; conservation laws, isospin symmetry, charge conjugation, parity and time-reversal invariance.

GENERAL APTITUDE (Common for all branches)

Verbal Aptitude

Basic English Grammar
Tenses, articles, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, verb-noun agreement, and other parts of speech

Basic Vocabulary
Words, idioms, and phrases in context

Reading and Comprehension

Narrative Sequencing

Quantitative Aptitude

Data Interpretation
Data graphs (bar graphs, pie charts, and other graphs representing data), 2- and 3-dimensional plots, maps, and tables

Numerical Computation and Estimation
Ratios, percentages, powers, exponents and logarithms, permutations and combinations, and series

Mensuration and Geometry

Elementary Statistics and Probability

Analytical Aptitude

Deduction and Induction


Numerical Relations and Reasoning

Spatial Aptitude

Transformation of Shapes
Translation, rotation, scaling, mirroring, assembling, and grouping

Paper folding, cutting, and patterns in 2 and 3 dimensions

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