UPSC SCRA Physical Sciences Syllabus


  1. Length measurements using vernier, screw gauge, spherometer and optical lever. Measurement of time and mass.
  2. Straight line motion and relationships among displacement, velocity and acceleration.
  3. Newton's Laws of Motion, Momentum, impulse, work, energy and power.
  4. Coefficient of friction.
  5. Equilibrium of bodies under action of forces. Moment of a force, couple. Newton's Law of Gravitation. Escape velocity. Acceleration due to gravity.
  6. Mass and Weight; Centre of gravity, Uniform circular motion, centripetal force, Simple Harmonic motion. Simple pendulum.
  7. Pressure in a fluid and its variation with depth. Pascal's Law. Principle of Archimedes.
  8. Floating bodies, Atmospheric pressure and its measurement.
  9. Temperature and its measurement. Thermal expansion, Gas laws and absolute temperature. Specific heat, latent heats and their measurement. Specific heat of gases.
  10. Mechanical equivalent of heat. Internal energy and First law of thermodynamics, Isothermal and adiabatic changes. Transmission of heat; thermal conductivity.
  11. Wave motion; Longitudinal and transverse waves. Progressive and stationary waves.
  12. Velocity of sound in gas and its dependence on various factors. Resonance phenomena (air columns and strings).
  13. Reflection and refraction of light. Image formation by curved mirrors and lenses, Microscopes and telescopes. Defects of vision.
  14. Prisms, deviation and dispersion, Minimum deviation. Visible spectrum.
  15. Field due to a bar magnet, Magnetic moment, Elements of Earth's magnetic field. Magnetometers. Dia, para and ferromagnetism.
  16. Electric charge, electric field and potential, Coulomb's Law.
  17. Electric current; electric cells, e. m. f. Resistance, ammeters and voltmeters. Ohm's law; resistances in series and parallel, specific resistance and conductivity. Heating effect of current.
  18. Wheatstone's bridge, Potentiometer.
  19. Magnetic effect of current; straight wire, coil and solenoid electromagnet; electric bell.
  20. Force on a current-carrying conductor in magnetic field; moving coil galvanometers; conversion to ammeter or voltmeter.
  21. Chemical effects of current; Primary and storage cells and their functioning, Laws of electrolysis.
  22. Electromagnetic induction; Simple A. C. And D. C. Generators. Transformers, Induction coil
  23. Cathode rays, discovery of the electron, Bohr model of the atom. Diode and its use as a rectifier.
  24. Production, properties and uses of X-rays.
  25. Radioactivity; Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays.
  26. Nuclear energy; fission and fusion, conversion of mass into energy, chain reaction.


Physical Chemistry

  1. Atomic structure; Earlier models in brief. Atom as at three dimensional model. Orbital concept. Quantum numbers and their significance, only elementary treatment. Pauli's Exclusion Principle. Electronic configuration. Aufbau Principle, s. p. d. And f. Block elements. Periodic classification only long form. Periodicity and electronic configuration. Atomic radii, Electro-negativity in period and groups.

  2. Chemical Bonding, electro-valent, co-valent, coordinate covalent bonds. Bond Properties, sigma and Pie bonds, Shapes of simple molecules like water, hydrogen sulphide, methane and ammonium chloride. Molecular association and hydrogen bonding.

  3. Energy changes in a chemical reaction. Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions. Application of First Law of Thermodynamics, Hess's Law of constant heat summation.

  4. Chemical Equilibria and rates of reactions. Law of Mass action. Effect of Pressure, Temperature and concentration on the rates of reaction (Qualitative treatment based on Le Chatelier's Principle). Molecularity; First and Second order reaction. Concept of Energy of activation. Application to manufacture of Ammonia and Sulphur trioxide.

  5. Solutions: True solutions, colloidal solutions and suspensions. Colligative properties of dillute solutions and determination of Molecular weights of dissolved substances. Elevation of boiling points. Depressions of freezing point, osmotic pressure. Raoult's Law (non-thermodynamic treatment only).

  6. Electro-Chemistry: Solution of Electrolytes, Faraday's Laws of Electrolysis, ionic equilibria, Solubility product. Strong and weak electrolytes. Acids and Bases (Lewis and Bronstead concept). pH and Buffer solutions.

  7. Oxidation-Reduction; Modern, electronics concept and oxidation number.

  8. Natural and Artificial Radioactivity: Nuclear Fission and Fusion. Uses of Radioactive isotopes.

Inorganic Chemistry

Brief Treatment of Elements and their industrially important compounds:

  1. Hydrogen: Position in the periodic table. Isotopes of hydrogen. Electronegative and electropositive character. Water, hard and soft water, use of water in industries, Heavy water and its uses.

  2. Group I Elements: Manufacture of sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride.

  3. Group II Elements: Quick and slaked lime. Gypsum, Plaster of Paris. Magnesium sulphate and Magnesia.

  4. Group III Elements: Borax, Alumina and Alum.

  5. Group IV Elements: Coals, Coke and solid Fuels, Silicates, Zolitis semi-conductors. Glass (Elementary treatment).

  6. Group V Elements. Manufacture of ammonia and nitric acid. Rock Phosphates and safety matches.

  7. Group VI Elements. Hydrogen peroxide, allotropy of sulphur, sulphuric acid. Oxides of sulphur.

  8. Group VII Elements. Manufacture and uses of Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine and Iodine, Hydrochloric acid. Bleaching powder.

  9. Group O (Noble gases). Helium and its uses.

  10. Metallurgical Processes: General Methods of extraction of metals with specific reference to copper, iron, aluminium, silver, gold, zinc and lead. Common alloys of these metals; Nickel and manganese steels.

Organic Chemistry

  1. Tetrahedral nature of carbon, Hybridisation and sigma pie bonds and their relative strength. Single and multiple bonds. Shapes of molecules. Geometrical and optical isomerism.

  2. General methods of preparation, properties and reaction of alkanes, alkenes and alkynes, Petroleum and its refining. Its uses as fuel. Aromatic hydrocarbons: Resonance and aromaticity. Benzene and Naphthalene and their analogues. Aromatic substitution reactions.

  3. Halogen derivatives: Chloroform, Carbon Tetrachloride, Chlorobenzene, D. D. T. And Gammexane.

  4. Hydroxy Compounds: Preparation, properties and uses of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary alcohols, Methanol, Ethanol, Glycerol and Phenol, Substitution reaction at aliphatic carbon atom.

  5. Ethers; Diethyl ether.

  6. Aldehydes and ketones: Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Benzaldehyde, acetone, acetophenone.

  7. Nitro compounds amines: Nitrobenzene TNT, Anlline, Diazonium Compounds, Azodyes.

  8. Carboxylic acid: Formic, acetic, denezoic and salicylic acids, acetyl salicylic acid.

  9. Esters: Ethylacerate, Methyl salicylates, ethylbenzoate.

  10. Polymers: Polythene, Teflon, Perpex, Artificial Rubber, Nylon and Polyester fibers.

  11. Nonstructural treatment of Carbohydrates, Fats and Lipids, amino acids and proteins-Vitamins and hormones.