CSIR NET Physical Science Exam Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2021

CSIR NET Physical Science Exam Syllabus and Exam Pattern

CSIR NET Physical Science Syllabus and Exam Pattern: CSIR NET Physical Science exam is considered as one of the toughest government exams in India. Physical Science is one of the five branches of science and technology which requires rigorous preparation on the part of the students in order to clear the exam. Students who wish to take up Physics as their career for the future mainly begin with the NET exam. It surely provides one big opportunity to achieve the dream goal of becoming a Physics expert. 

CSIR NET Physical Science Syllabus and Exam Pattern

Every year, lakhs of students sit for the CSIR NET exam in the hope of getting closer to their dreams. New innovations are made in the field of Science and Technologies through such geniuses. 

CSIR NET Physical Science Syllabus: Core

1) Mathematical Methods of Physics

  • Dimensional analysis

  • Vector algebra and vector calculus.

  • Linear algebra

  • Matrices Cayley-Hamilton Theorem

  • Eigenvalues and eigenvectors

  • Linear ordinary differential equations of first & second order

  • Special functions (Hermite, Bessel, Laguerre and Legendre functions)

  • Fourier series, Fourier and Laplace transforms

  • Elements of complex analysis, analytic functions

  • Taylor & Laurent series; residues, poles and evaluation of integrals.

  • Elementary probability theory, random variables, binomial

  • Poisson and normal distributions.

  • Central limit theorem.

2) Classical Mechanics

  • Newton’s laws

  • Dynamical systems

  • Phase space dynamics, stability analysis.

  • Central force motions.

  • Two body Collisions – scattering in laboratory and Centre of mass frames.

  • Rigid body dynamics moment of inertia tensor.

  • Non-inertial frames and pseudo forces.

  • Variational principle.

  • Generalized coordinates.

  • Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism and equations of motion.

  • Conservation laws and cyclic coordinates.

  • Periodic motion: small oscillations, normal modes.

  • Special theory of relativity

  • Lorentz transformations, relativistic kinematics and mass–energy equivalence

3) Electromagnetic Theory

  • Electrostatics: Gauss’s law and its applications

  • Laplace and Poisson equations, boundary value problems.

  • Magnetostatics: Biot-Savart law, Ampere’s theorem.

  • Electromagnetic induction.

  • Maxwell’s equations in free space and linear isotropic media; boundary conditions on the fields at interfaces.

  • Scalar and vector potentials, gauge invariance.

  • Electromagnetic waves in free space.

  • Dielectrics and conductors.

  • Reflection and refraction, polarization, Fresnel’s law, interference, coherence, and diffraction. Dynamics of charged particles in static and uniform electromagnetic fields.

4) Quantum Mechanics

  • Wave-particle duality.

  • Schrödinger equation (time-dependent and time-independent).

  • Eigenvalue problems (harmonic oscillator, particle in a box, etc.).

  • Tunneling through a barrier.

  • Wave-function in coordinate and momentum representations.

  • Commutators and Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

  • Dirac notation for state vectors.

  • Motion in a central potential: orbital angular momentum, angular momentum algebra, spin, addition of angular momenta; Hydrogen atom.

  • Stern-Gerlach experiment.

  • Time Independent perturbation theory and applications.

  • Variational method.

  • Time dependent perturbation theory and Fermi’s golden rule, selection rules

  • Identical particles

  • Pauli exclusion principle, spin-statistics connection.

5) Thermodynamic and Statistical Physics

  • Laws of thermodynamics and their consequences.

  • Thermodynamic potentials

  • Maxwell relations, chemical potential, phase equilibria.

  • Phase space, micro- and macro-states.

  • Micro-canonical, canonical and grand-canonical ensembles and partition functions.

  • Free energy and its connection with thermodynamic quantities.

  • Classical and quantum statistics.

  • Ideal Bose and Fermi gases.

  • Principle of detailed balance.

  • Blackbody radiation and Planck’s distribution law.

6) Electronics and Experimental Methods

  • Semiconductor devices (transistors, diodes, junctions, field effect devices, homo- and hetero-junction devices), device characteristics, device structure, frequency dependence and applications.

  • Opto-electronic devices (solar cells, photo-detectors, LEDs).

  • Operational amplifiers and their applications.

  • Digital techniques and applications (counters, registers, comparators and similar circuits).

  • A/D and D/A converters.

  • Microprocessor and microcontroller basics.

  • Data interpretation and analysis.

  • Precision and accuracy.

  • Error analysis, propagation of errors.

  • Least Squares fitting,

CSIR NET Physical Science Syllabus: Advanced

1) Mathematical Methods of Physics

  • Green’s function.

  • Partial differential equations (Wave, Laplace, and heat equations in two and three dimensions).

  • Elements of computational techniques: the root of functions, interpolation, extrapolation, integration by trapezoidal and Simpson’s rule

  • The solution of the first-order differential equations using the Runge-Kutta method.

  • Finite difference methods.

  • Tensors

  • Introductory group theory: SU(2), O(3).

2) Classical Mechanics

  • Dynamical systems,

  • Phase space dynamics, stability analysis.

  • Poisson brackets and canonical transformations.

  • Symmetry, invariance and Noether’s theorem.

  • Hamilton-Jacobi theory.

3) Electromagnetic Theory

  • Dispersion relations in plasma.

  • Lorentz invariance of Maxwell’s equation.

  • Transmission lines and waveguides.

  • Radiation- from moving charges and dipoles and retarded potentials.

4) Quantum Mechanics

  • Spin-orbit coupling, fine structure.

  • WKB approximation.

  • Elementary theory of scattering: phase shifts, partial waves,

  • Born in approximation.

  • Relativistic quantum mechanics: Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations.

  • Semi-classical theory of radiation.

5) Thermodynamic and Statistical Physics

  • First- and second-order phase transitions.

  • Diamagnetism, paramagnetism, and ferromagnetism.

  • Ising model.

  • Bose-Einstein condensation.

  • Diffusion equation.

  • Random walk and Brownian motion.

  • Introduction to nonequilibrium processes.

6) Electronics and Experimental Methods

  • Linear and nonlinear curve fitting, chi-square test.

  • Transducers (magnetic fields, temperature, optical, pressure/vacuum, vibration, and particle detectors).

  • Measurement and control.

  • Signal conditioning and recovery.

  • Impedance matching, amplification (Op-amp based, instrumentation amp, feedback), shielding, filtering and noise reduction, and grounding.

  • Fourier transforms lock-in detector, box-car integrator, modulation techniques.

  • High-frequency devices (including generators and detectors).

7) Atomic & Molecular Physics

  • Quantum states of an electron in an atom.

  • Electron spin.

  • The spectrum of helium and alkali atom.

  • Relativistic corrections for energy levels of the hydrogen atom, hyperfine structure and isotopic shift, width of spectral lines, LS & JJ couplings.

  • Zeeman, Paschen-Bach & Stark effects.

  • Electron spin resonance.

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance, chemical shift.

  • Frank-Condon principle.

  • Born-Oppenheimer approximation.

  • Electronic, vibrational, rotational, selection rules, and Raman spectra of diatomic molecules. Lasers: spontaneous and stimulated emission,

  • Einstein A & B coefficients.

  • Optical pumping, population inversion, rate equation.

  • Modes of resonators and coherence length.

8) Condensed Matter Physics

  • Bravais lattices.

  • Reciprocal lattice.

  • Diffraction and the structure factor.

  • Bonding of solids.

  • Elastic properties, phonons, lattice specific heat.

  • Free electron theory and electronic specific heat.

  • Response and relaxation phenomena.

  • Drude model of electrical and thermal conductivity.

  • Hall effect and thermoelectric power.

  • Electron motion in a periodic potential, band theory of solids: metals, insulators and semiconductors.

  • Superconductivity: type-I and type-II superconductors.

  • Josephson junctions.

  • Superfluidity.

  • Defects and dislocations.

  • Ordered phases of matter: translational and orientational order, kinds of liquid crystalline order. Quasicrystals.

9) Nuclear and Particle Physics

  • Basic nuclear properties: shape, size, and charge distribution, spin and parity.

  • Binding energy, semi-empirical mass formula, liquid drop model.

  • Nature of the nuclear force, the form of nucleon-nucleon potential, charge-independence and charge-symmetry of nuclear forces.

  • Deuteron problem.

  • Evidence of shell structure, single-particle shell model, its validity and limitations.

  • Rotational spectra.

  • Elementary ideas of alpha, beta and gamma decays and their selection rules.

  • Fission and fusion.

  • Nuclear reactions, reaction mechanism, compound nuclei and direct reactions.

  • Classification of fundamental forces.

  • Elementary particles and their quantum numbers (parity, charge, spin, isospin, strangeness, etc.).

  • Gellmann-Nishijima formula.

  • Quark model, baryons and mesons.

  • C, P, and T invariance.

  • Application of symmetry arguments to particle reactions.

  • Parity non-conservation in the weak interaction.

  • Relativistic kinematics.

CSIR NET Physical Science Exam Pattern 2021

There are three parts in the CSIR NET Physical science syllabus paper pattern which is further divided into subsections of the topics included in each part. Given below is the detailed list of each section of the Physical Science subject for CSIR NET 2021. 

CSIR NET Exam Pattern 2021

S. No.


Total Number of questions

Total Marks

Time Duration


Life Sciences



3 hours


Earth, Atmospheric, Ocean and Planetary Sciences



Mathematical Sciences



Chemical Sciences



Physical Sciences


Part I: 

The first part of the CSIR Physical Science comprises 20 questions. These questions are usually asked from topics like Quantitative Reasoning, General Science, Analysis and Research Aptitude. Out of the 20 questions, the candidates are required to answer any of the 15 questions, whichever they deem scoring. Each question in part I of the paper carries two marks. Therefore, the total marks in this section is 30 out of 200. 

Part II

The second part of the Physical Science exam consists of 25 questions. These 25 questions are set in the form of Multiple Choice Questions or MCQs. The questions are mainly asked from the topics which are covered in Part I or Core part of the CSIR NET Physical Science syllabus. Each question carries 3.5 Marks and the total marks in the section will be 70 out of 200. A candidate must answer 20 questions out of the 25 questions. 

Part III

The third part of the Physical Science exam comprises a total of 30 questions out of which a candidate must answer any 20 questions. The questions in the third part are based on Part II and Part I which are specifically curated to gauge the scientific knowledge and concepts of the students. It is mostly based on using the practical knowledge derived from the theoretical knowledge in the first place. Each question in this section carries 5 marks and the total score in this section is 100 out of 200.

Candidates must note that there will be a negative marking of 25% of the total score for each wrong answer. 

Important Tips For CSIR NET Physical Science Exam 

  • Part I questions will be common for all the subjects included under Science and Technology. Questions are mostly asked from logical reasoning, scientific quizzes, puzzles, etc. 
  • The second part of the CSIR UGC NET exam comprises subject-related multiple-choice questions. 
  • There are only a limited number of questions to be answered in every set. If a candidate exceeds the number, only the first set of the asked number of questions will be verified. 

We have covered the detailed guide on the CSIR NET Physical Science Syllabus and Exam Pattern. Feel free to ask us any questions in the comment section below.

FAQ: CSIR NET Physical Science Syllabus and exam Pattern

What is the latest Physical Science syllabus and Exam Pattern?

You can refer to the above article to know the latest Physical Science syllabus and Exam Pattern.

Is there any negative marking in CSIR NET Exam?

Candidates must note that there will be a negative marking of 25% of the total score for each wrong answer. 

Who is the conducting authority for CSIR NET Examinations? 

The Conducting Authority National Testing Agency.

How many parts are there in CSIR NET Physical science syllabus and paper pattern?

There are three parts in the CSIR NET Physical science syllabus and the paper pattern which is further divided into subsections of the topics included in each part.

What is the complete core CSIR NET Physical science syllabus?

You can refer to the above article to know the complete core CSIR NET Physical science syllabus paper pattern.

What are the eligibility criteria for CSIR UGC NET Physical Science?

According to CSIR UGC NET eligibility criteria set for Physical Science, an aspirant is required to have a valid degree of M.Sc. in Physics or BS-MS in Physics or any related degree passed within the required percentage.

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