​Strategy for Physics

Proper theory building, writing style, problem solving ability and accuracy are very important to score well in the UPSC Physics exam.

The books I referred for Physics are as follows. Here the books I did thoroughly for a particular topic are underlined, while the non-underlined books are those which I used to cover any remaining sub-sections of the topic.

Paper I

1. Mechanics:

Mechanics by D.S. Mathur

An Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow

Classical Mechanics by Goldstein

2. Waves and Optics:

Optics by Ajoy Ghatak

Optics by B.S. Agarwal

3. Electricity and Magnetism:

Introduction to Electrodynamics by David J. Griffiths

Electromagnetic Theory and Electrodynamics by Satya Prakash

4. Thermal and Statistical Physics:

Heat and Thermodynamics by Dittman and Zemansky

Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory and Statistical Thermodynamics by Sears and Salinger

Thermodynamics, Statistical Physics and Kinetics by Satya Prakash

Paper II

1. Quantum Mechanics:

Quantum Physics by H.C. Verma

2. Atomic and Molecular Physics:

Atomic and Molecular Spectra by Raj Kumar

Modern Physics by Arthur Beiser

Quantum Physics by Resnick and Eisberg

3. Nuclear and Particle Physics:

Modern Physics by Arthur Beiser

Quantum Physics by Resnick and Eisberg

Nuclear Physics by D.C. Tayal

4. Solid State Physics, Devices and Electronics:

Principles of Electronic Materials and Devices by S O Kasap

Modern Physics by Arthur Beiser

Quantum Physics by Resnick and Eisberg

[Making use of availability of choice in the exam, I covered the first seven topics mentioned above completely, while for the last topic (Solid State Physics, Devices and Electronics) I skipped the Devices & Electronics portion. This portion is extremely lengthy and can be skipped if you cover all other topics well and if you are not from Electrical/Electronics Engineering background.]

I took coaching in Physics from Prof. Vajpayee (DIAS Institute), which helped in giving me a holistic coverage of the syllabus. Also, I got to learn the method of writing for the Physics exam in the UPSC.

After covering the theory and doing practice problems (from class notes plus solved examples in the books), I attempted the tutorial sheets given by Prof. Vajpayee and solved them properly on paper in the way I would write in the exam. This was a very helpful exercise as the tutorial sheets contain the past year UPSC questions exhaustively ( arranged topic wise ) and it gives one a clear picture of the way questions are asked in the UPSC and how one would attempt them. For solutions, I referred to Brilliant Tutorials , which provide solved problems for UPSC exams of past 15-20 years.

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