UPSC Physics Optional Books: Important Physics Books for UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC Physics Optional Books includes a wide range of topics that deal with properties, nature of matter, energy, light, heat, mechanics, and other related themes. Candidates who have chosen physics as their optional subject need to choose the Best Physics Optional Books for UPSC as the optional subject carries a total of 500 marks, and it can make a huge impact on UPSC Mains merit list. Preparing from the best books for UPSC physics optional would help the candidates to fetch optimum marks in the optional subject, which results in a better rank in the UPSC exam.

Just like other optional subjects, physics also consists of two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. In this post, we have covered Physics Optional Books for UPSC for both papers along with additional sources, and some preparation strategies that will level up the preparation of UPSC aspirants.

UPSC Physics Optional Books for Paper 1

Topics like Classical Mechanics, Special Relativity, Physical Optics, etc are part of the Paper-1 of UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus. Below we have provided UPSC Physics Optional Book List that covers these topics.

  • A Dictionary of Physics – Goldstein
  • A Textbook of Sound – Khanna & Bedi
  • Advanced Level Physics – Nelkon & Parker
  • Any fundamental book on electrical engineering like B.L Theraja (Vol 1) or Vincent Del Toro
  • Classical Mechanism -Gupta, Kumar & Sharma – Takewale & Puranik –H.Goldstein
  • Electricity & Magnetism: D.C. Tayal, B.S. Agarwal, Griffith
  • Introduction of Electrodynamics – David Griffiths
  • EM Theory -Chopra&Agarwal/Satya Prakash
  • Physics Vol I&II by David Halliday and Resnick
  • Optics – Brijlal & Subramanyam, B.S. Agarwal, Ajoy & Ghatak
  • Properties of Matter – B. Aggarwal
  • Solid State Physics –Kittel
  • Special Relativity-R.Resnick -Gupta & Goyal

UPSC Physics Optional Book List for Paper 2

Paper 2 of the physics syllabus for UPSC includes topics namely Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Physics, Nuclear Physics, Electronics and etc. following is a list of UPSC Physics Optional Books to cover these topics.

  • Atomic & Molecular Spectra -Rajkumar
  • Atomic Physics – J. B. Rajan
  • Concept of Modern Physics – Arthur Beiser
  • Electronics – Millman & Halkias, S. Ramnam, Ryder or Bolstead, Malvina
  • Electronics –Allen Mottershead
  • Fundamental of Magnetism electricity – D.N. Vasudeva
  • Mechanics – D.S. Mathur, B.S. Agarwal
  • Mechanics – Kleppner & Kolenkow -D.S. Mathur
  • Modern Physics – A Beiser (Concepts of modern physics), S.L. Gupta, B.S. Agarwal, J.B. Rajan
  • Nuclear Physics – D.C. Tayal
  • Nuclear Physics -S.B Patel Optics-Ajoy Ghatak-B.S. Agarwal
  • Quantum Mechanics – A Ghatak
  • Quantum Mechanics -Ghatak & Lokanathan
  • Quantum Physics- Resnick & Eisberg
  • Statistical Physics –B.B laud
  • Thermal Physics – P.K Chakraborty – Satya Prakash, Singhal & Agarwal
  • Thermal Physics – Singal, Agarwal & Prakash, B.S. Agarwal, Shah & Srivastava
  • University Physics – Zemansky
  • Wave/Spl.Relatively – D.S. Mathur/Kleppner Kolenkow
  • Waves and Oscillations – Brijlal & Subramanyam, B.S. Agarwal

Physics Optional Books for UPSC PDF

Candidates can also download the list of best books for UPSC physics optional from the PDF link given below. We have divided the physics books for both Paper 1 and Paper 2 to make things easier for the candidates.

>>Physics Optional Books for UPSC PDF

How to Prepare with UPSC Physics Optional Books?

Covering the UPSC Books can be easy with effective strategy and preparation methods.

We have prepared a strategy on how to cover the physics optional books for UPSC below. This strategy is backed by Divyanshu Jha who secured AIR 9, in CSE 2013 with physics optional.

  • You need to have an in-depth study of all the topics covered in the syllabus from the original books.
  • At first, you can rely on the foreign authors for their clarity and lucidity as well as presentation, and then read the Indian authors to figure out the exam writing styles and detailed derivations.
  • Make sure you pick one book at a time while reading a particular topic. And try to make short notes which can come pretty handy at the time of revision.
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