UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus: Download Latest UPSC Physics Syllabus PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : February 3rd, 2023

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus would feel relevant to candidates who have studied physics at their Graduate or Postgraduate level. Like all the other science optional subjects, UPSC Physics Syllabus includes topic of honours degree level and is divided into paper 1 and paper 2. 

Physics Optional UPSC Syllabus includes topics like thermodynamics, magnetism, relativity, electricity quantum theory, etc. As physics is a specialized subject, candidates must take a strategic approach while covering the UPSC Physics syllabus. Candidates can also download the UPSC Physics Syllabus PDF using the link mentioned below. 

Table of Content

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus 

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 Syllabus on their table so that they won’t miss out on crucial topics. 

Let’s check out the complete paper-wise Physics Optional Syllabus below.

UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus 


UPSC Optional Physics Syllabus Paper 2

-Mechanics of Particles

-Waves and Optics

-Electricity and Magnetism

-Electromagnetic Waves and Blackbody Radiation

-Thermal and Statistical Physics

UPSC CSE Physics Optional Syllabus Paper 2

-Quantum Mechanics

-Atomic and Molecular Physics

-Nuclear and Particle Physics

-Solid State Physics, Devices, and Electronics

UPSC Physics Syllabus PDF

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 Optional Syllabus PDF

Candidates who are preparing for the UPSC Exam in Hindi can also download the UPSC Exam in Hindi can also download the UPSC Physics Syllabus in Hindi

Physics Optional Syllabus Paper 1

The Paper 1 Physics UPSC 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 Optional Syllabus

Physics Optional UPSC 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

Physics Optional Syllabus

Pros and Cons of Physics Optional Syllabus

If you are confused about opting for Physics as your optional subject, we have added the pros and cons of the UPSC Physics Syllabus below to make things easier for you. 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 is 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.

How to Cover the UPSC Physics Optional Syllabus?

The UPSC physics syllabus is vast, but the candidates who have effectively prepared 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 thorough 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 Syllabus. Paper 2 has more theoretical questions so you must develop knowledge of both classical and modern physics.
  • You can practice the UPSC previous year's question papers along with covering the Physics Optional Syllabus. 
  • Make a 20-30 page summary of the entire UPSC physics syllabus for revision on the way before the final day.

Best Books for Physics Syllabus for UPSC

If you want smooth completion of the UPSC Physics Optional Paper Syllabus, then choose the highly referred books by the IAS toppers. We have prepared a booklist to help you 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 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 Syllabus

UPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus

UPSC Botany Syllabus

UPSC Chemistry Syllabus

UPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus

UPSC Commerce and Accountancy Syllabus

UPSC Economics Syllabus

UPSC Electrical Engineering Syllabus

UPSC English Literature Syllabus

UPSC Geography Syllabus

UPSC Geology Syllabus

UPSC Hindi Literature Syllabus

UPSC History Syllabus

UPSC Law Syllabus

UPSC Management Syllabus

UPSC Maths Optional Syllabus

UPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus

UPSC Medical Science Syllabus

UPSC Philosophy Syllabus

UPSC CSAT Syllabus

UPSC Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Syllabus

UPSC Psychology Syllabus

UPSC Public Administration Syllabus

UPSC Science and Technology Syllabus

UPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus

UPSC Statistics Syllabus

UPSC Zoology Syllabus



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FAQs on Physics Optional UPSC Syllabus

  • Physics is one of the optional subjects in the UPSC mains exam. The Physics Optional UPSC 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. The physics syllabus is divided into paper 1 and paper 2 like all the other optional papers.

  • There are two papers on the UPSC Physics 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 can also refer to the other UPSC Physics Optional books for the remaining topics.

  • 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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