GATE Physics Syllabus 2020 - Study Material & Previous Year’s Answers (PDF)

GATE Physics Syllabus 2020 - The application process of GATE application 2020 came to an end on October 5, 2019. The official notification of GATE 2020 consisted of the detailed GATE syllabus, the physics syllabus is mentioned in detail below. Syllabus for 25 papers which includes the lately added paper of Biomedical Engineering has been released by IIT Delhi.

Aspirants preparing for GATE 2020 should thoroughly go through the GATE Physics syllabus to make the best plan and strategy for the examination. The GATE Physics Syllabus is spread across eight sections. For candidates planning to give the GATE exam, the most recent GATE Physics syllabus 2020 is provided below for your reference:

GATE Physics Syllabus 2020



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 three-dimensional 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, critical point.

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.

Important Topics for Each Section


Important Topics

Mathematical Physics

Contour Integration Fourier Series Matrix Differential Equations

Classical Mechanics

Lagrange s equation of motion Poisson Bracket Special theory of relativity

Electromagnetic Theory

Calculations for electric and magnetic field Scalar and Vector Potential Dipole Moment

Quantum Mechanics

Energy eigenvalue problems Hermitian and anti- Hermitian operators Time-independent permutation

Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

Carnot Cycle Phase Transitions Partition Function Maxwell s equations of thermodynamics

Atomic and Molecular Physics

L-S, J-J Coupling Spectroscopic Terms Zeeman Effect

Solid-State Physics & Electronics

Magnetism Crystallography Superconductor Effective Mass

Nuclear and Particle Physics

Semi-empirical mass formula Shell Model Fundamental Forces Half-life time

GATE Exam Pattern for Physics 2020

Exam Section

Marks Weightage

General Aptitude

15% of the total marks

Subject questions

85% of total marks

The link to download the PDF of the detailed syllabus

How to Prepare for GATE Physics Exam

The applicants can remember the given points for GATE 2020 Physics Examination. These points will be useful in boosting the preparation process.
  • How To Start: The applicants should start by reading and reviewing the syllabus first and foremost. By being well aware of the syllabus of GATE 2020 Physics, the applicants will know which topics are crucial and may appear in the exam.

  • Things to Know: Select best reference books for GATE, and make use of mock tests and sample papers. Solve these tests routinely as this will help you understand and use all of the theoretical content that you have studied for the exam.

  • Revision is Crucial: Creating a revision notebook to write down difficult concepts and theories from the syllabus will help the applicants keep track of the vital points that need to be revised.

GATE Physics Exam 2020 - Eligibility Criteria

Degree: B.E /B.Tech

Candidate Type: A candidate who had completed B.E or B. Tech in Engineering and those who are in the final year of such programs with no backlog.

Age: No limit

Important Books for GATE 2020 Physics (Subject-wise)

Mathematical Physics

Mathematical Methods for Physicists Paperback by Arfken

Classical Mechanics

Classical Mechanics Paperback by Herbert Goldstein

Electromagnetic Theory

Principles of Electromagnetics by Matthew N. O. Sadiku

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics by Aruldhas G

Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

Thermodynamics Made Easy by Goelectro

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Physics of Atoms and Molecules by B.H. Bransden

Solid State Physics & Electronics

Introduction to Solid State Physics by Charles Kittel

Nuclear and Particle Physics

Introductory Nuclear Physics by Kenneth S. Krane

GATE Physics 2020 Exam- Answer Key of last four years

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