UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus: Download Latest Syllabus PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : October 3rd, 2022

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus would feel relevant to candidates who have studied physics at their Graduate or Postgraduate level. UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus includes topics like thermodynamics, magnetism, relativity, electricity quantum theory, etc. As physics is a specialized subject, candidates need to take a strategic approach while covering the UPSC Physics syllabus.

Candidates who have made up their mind to choose physics as their optional subject, and those who are still considering it, should go through the complete UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus once. 

Table of Content

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus for IAS Mains

Covering the UPSC physics syllabus requires a high level of proficiency, that’s why candidates who have opted for physics should start their preparation early. While preparing for this subject candidates should have the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus on their table so that they won’t miss out on crucial topics. Let’s check out the complete paper-wise UPSC physics syllabus below.

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus 


UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus paper 1

  1. Mechanics of Particles
  2. Waves and Optics
  3. Electricity and Magnetism
  4. Electromagnetic Waves and Blackbody Radiation
  5. Thermal and Statistical Physics

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus paper 2

  1. Quantum Mechanics
  2. Atomic and Molecular Physics
  3. Nuclear and Particle Physics
  4. Solid State Physics, Devices, and Electronics

UPSC Physics Syllabus PDF Download 

UPSC physical optional syllabus can be downloaded from the official website of UPSC. However, candidates can also download the syllabus from the direct link we have provided below.

UPSC Physics Syllabus Paper 1

The UPSC physics optional syllabus is divided into 5 topics that we have mentioned above in the table. Below we are going to discuss the sub-topics covered under those topics.

UPSC Physics Syllabus

UPSC Physics Syllabus

UPSC Physics Syllabus

UPSC Physics Syllabus Paper 2

Quantum Mechanics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Solid State Physics, Devices, and Electronics are part of Paper 2 of the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus. Candidates need to take a complete look at the physics syllabus for paper 2.

UPSC Physics Syllabus

UPSC Physics Syllabus

Pros and Cons of UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus

If you are confused about opting for Physics as your optional subject, then to make things easier for you we have added the pros and cons of the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus below. It would help you with making a final decision.

Pros of UPSC Physics Syllabus

  • If you write the answer correctly then you can fetch good marks as nothing is subjective.
  • If you have a solid base then there won’t be any difficulty in covering the UPSC Physics syllabus
  • The UPSC physics syllabus is static and the pattern is set. 

Cons of UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus

  • The overlap of the UPSC Physics syllabus with GS papers are minimal
  • Candidates with no background in physics would face difficulties in covering the physics UPSC syllabus.
  • Ample revision of the topics covered in the UPSC Physics syllabus is required to perform well.

Strategy to Cover the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus

The UPSC physics syllabus is vast, but the candidates who have done effective preparation won’t face any problems. Let’s uncover the preparation strategy that will help you to fetch good marks in the Physics optional.

  • Make notes of all topics mentioned in the UPSC Physics Syllabus. Be through with the concept, and build a solid problem-solving skill that is required to score good marks.
  • Practice as much as possible, and multiple methods to solve the questions should be known for paper 1 of the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus. Paper 2 has more theoretical questions so you must develop knowledge in both classical and modern physics.
  • You can practice the previous year's question papers along with covering the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus. 
  • Make a 20-30 page summary of the entire UPSC physics syllabus for the revision on the way before the final day.

If you want smooth completion of the UPSC Optional Syllabus, then choose the highly referred books by the IAS toppers. We have prepared a booklist that would help you to easily comprehend the UPSC physics syllabus.

Books for Paper 1 of UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus

  • Mechanics By D S Mathur
  • Optics By Brijlal and Subrahmaniyam
  • Electrodynamics & EM Theory: David Griffiths
  • Thermal & Statistical Physics by Garg, Bansal, and Ghosh

Books for Paper 2 of UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus 

  • Quantum Physics: Resnick & Eisberg
  • Concepts of Modern Physics: Arthur Beiser
  • Solid State Physics: S.O. Pillai
  • Electronics: B L Thareja Vol. IV
List of UPSC Optional Subjects Syllabus
UPSC Agriculture SyllabusUPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus
UPSC Anthropology SyllabusUPSC Botany Syllabus
UPSC Chemistry SyllabusUPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Commerce and Accountancy SyllabusUPSC Economics Syllabus
UPSC Electrical Engineering SyllabusUPSC English Literature Syllabus
UPSC Geography Syllabus UPSC Geology Syllabus
UPSC Hindi Literature SyllabusUPSC History Syllabus
UPSC Law SyllabusUPSC Management Syllabus
UPSC Maths Optional SyllabusUPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Medical Science SyllabusUPSC Philosophy Syllabus
UPSC CSAT SyllabusUPSC Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Syllabus
UPSC Psychology SyllabusUPSC Public Administration Syllabus
UPSC Science and Technology SyllabusUPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus
UPSC Statistics SyllabusUPSC Zoology Syllabus


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UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus FAQs

  • Physics is one of the optional subjects in the UPSC mains exam. The UPSC physics syllabus contains topics namely Mechanics of Particles, Waves and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism, Electromagnetic Waves and Blackbody Radiation, Quantum Mechanics, Atomic, and Molecular Physics etc.

  • There are two papers on the optional subject namely, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 of the UPSC Physics syllabus includes topics such as mechanics of Particles, Waves and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism, Electromagnetic Waves and Blackbody Radiation etc.

  • Science, and technology are a part of UPSC mains syllabus, but there is no major portion of the UPSC physics optional syllabus, that overlaps with the syllabus of mains exam.

  • To cover the entire UPSC physics optional syllabus you need to work hard, practice both paper 1 and paper 2, and enhance problem-solving skills. Additionally, Solve multiple UPSC question papers for physics optional to practice answer writing as soon as you finish a topic.

  • Quantum physics is a part of paper 2 of the UPSC physics optional syllabus, and Quantum Physics: Resnick & Eisberg is a highly recommended book to cover this section.

  • Candidates are allowed the use of Scientific Non-Programmable type calculators for the examination. However, the use of the calculator is not allowed in essay-type papers. 

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