CUCET Ph.D. Syllabus

CUCET Physics (M.Sc Entrance)
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THE CUCET-2019 Examination: A consortium of 14 Central Universities of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kashmir, Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi (Bihar), Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and South Bihar established by an Act of Parliament and the Bengaluru Dr. B.R. Ambedkar School of Economics (BASE) registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, jointly organize a combined CENTRAL UNIVERSITIES COMMON ENTRANCE TEST (CUCET - 2019) for admission to their various programmes.


All Question Papers will be MCQ based consisting of:

    1. Part A: English Language, general awareness, mathematical aptitude and analytical skills – comprising of 25 MCQs

    2. Part B: Domain Knowledge – comprising of 75 MCQs. This part may consist of one/two/three or more sections. Each section can have 25 or more questions. An applicant is required to answer a set of ‘X’ sections (75 questions) as specified on the front cover of the Test Question Booklet. However, he/she must ensure that he/she fills right circles in the OMR Sheet corresponding to the question numbers attended.

    3. For example, Part B of Entrance Test-Paper (e.g. UIQP01) shall consist of four sections i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology comprising 25 questions each. Applicants shall be required to attempt any three sections with combination of either PCM or PCB. While choosing the combination applicant must ensure that he/she has appeared in respective subjects at 10+2 or Pre-Board or equivalent qualifying exam.

    4. If an Entrance Test-paper contents X number of sections and an applicant is required to answer Y number of section but if an applicant attempt all ‘X’ sections then best of ‘X’ sections as per instructions on the question booklet will be considered for preparation of Merit list.

    5. Admission to some Integrated Programmes/B.Voc/MBA/MCA/LLB or any other general Programme, only one paper comprising of 100 MCQs covering English language, reasoning, data interpretations/ numerical ability, general awareness and analytical skills will be held.

    6. An applicant will have to choose one correct answer and mark on OMR Sheet. However if an applicant marks multiple entries in the OMR Sheet for particular question(s), it will be treated as wrong answer with negative marking.

    7. Each paper will be only of Two Hours Duration.

    8. There will be negative marking in CUCET-2019 in UI and PG programmes. Each correct answer will carry 01 mark and for each wrong answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted. Questions not attempted will not be assessed and hence will not be considered for preparing final merit list.

    9. No negative marking for research programmes of CUCET examination 2019.



Mathematical Methods: Calculus of single and multiple variables, partial derivatives, Jacobian, imperfect and perfect differentials, Taylor expansion, Fourier series. Vector algebra, Vector Calculus, Multiple integrals, Divergence theorem, Green’s theorem, Stokes’ theorem. First order equations and linear second order differential equations with constant coefficients. Matrices and determinants, Algebra of complex numbers.

Mechanics and General Properties of Matter: Newton’s laws of motion and applications, Velocity and acceleration in Cartesian, polar and cylindrical coordinate systems, uniformly rotating frame, centrifugal and Coriolis forces, Motion under a central force, Kepler’s laws, Gravitational Law and field, Conservative and non-conservative forces. System of particles, Center of mass, equation of motion of the CM, conservation of linear and angular momentum, conservation of energy, variable mass systems. Elastic and inelastic collisions. Rigid body motion, fixed axis rotations, rotation and translation, moments of Inertia and products of Inertia, parallel and perpendicular axes theorem. Principal moments and axes. Kinematics of moving fluids, equation of continuity, Euler’s equation, Bernoulli’s theorem.

Oscillations, Waves and Optics: Differential equation for simple harmonic oscillator and its general solution. Superposition of two or more simple harmonic oscillators. Lissajous figures. Damped and forced oscillators, resonance. Wave equation, traveling and standing waves in one-dimension. Energy density and energy transmission in waves. Group velocity and phase velocity. Sound waves in media. Doppler Effect. Fermat’s Principle. General theory of image formation. Thick lens, thin lens and lens combinations. Interference of light, optical path retardation. Fraunhofer diffraction. Rayleigh criterion and resolving power. Diffraction gratings. Polarization: linear, circular and elliptic polarization. Double refraction and optical rotation.

Electricity and Magnetism: Coulomb’s law, Gauss’s law. Electric field and potential. Electrostatic boundary conditions, Solution of Laplace’s equation for simple cases. Conductors, capacitors, dielectrics, dielectric polarization, volume and surface charges, electrostatic energy. Biot-Savart law, Ampere’s law, Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction, Self and mutual inductance. Alternating currents. Simple DC and AC circuits with R, L and C components. Displacement current, Maxwell’s equations and plane electromagnetic waves, Poynting’s theorem, reflection and refraction at a dielectric interface, transmission and reflection coefficients (normal incidence only). Lorentz Force and motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields.

Kinetic theory, Thermodynamics: Elements of Kinetic theory of gases. Velocity distribution and Equipartition of energy. Specific heat of Mono-, di- and tri-atomic gases. Ideal gas, van-der-Waals gas and equation of state. Mean free path. Laws of thermodynamics. Zeroth law and concept of thermal equilibrium. First law and its consequences. Isothermal and adiabatic processes. Reversible, irreversible and quasi-static processes. Second law and entropy. Carnot cycle. Maxwell’s thermodynamic relations and simple applications. Thermodynamic potentials and their applications. Phase transitions and Clausius-Clapeyron equation. Ideas of ensembles, Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose Einstein distributions.

Modern Physics: Inertial frames and Galilean invariance. Postulates of special relativity. Lorentz transformations. Length contraction, time dilation. Relativistic velocity addition theorem, mass energy equivalence. Blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, Compton effect, Bohr’s atomic model, X-rays. Wave-particle duality, Uncertainty principle, the superposition principle, calculation of expectation values, Schrödinger equation and its solution for one, two and three dimensional boxes. Solution of Schrödinger equation for the one dimensional harmonic oscillator. Reflection and transmission at a step potential, Pauli exclusion prin-ciple. Structure of atomic nucleus, mass and binding energy. Radioactivity and its applications. Laws of radioactive decay.

Solid State Physics, Devices and Electronics: Crystal structure, Bravais lattices and basis. Miller indices. X-ray diffraction and Bragg's law Intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, variation of resistivity with temperature. Fermi level. p-n junction diode, I-V characteristics, Zener diode and its applications, BJT: characteristics in CB, CE, CC modes. Single stage amplifier, two stage R-C coupled amplifiers. Simple Oscillators: Barkhausen condition, sinusoidal oscillators. OPAMP and applications: Inverting and non-inverting amplifier. Boolean algebra: Binary number systems; conversion from one system to another system; binary addition and subtraction. Logic Gates AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR exclusive OR; Truth tables; combination of gates; de Morgan’s theorem.


CUCET Physics (Ph.D. Entrance)
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Exam Pattern

Important criteria regarding the MPhil/PhD programme

All candidates please note the following guidelines as per Gazette Notification by UGC on 5th July 2016 (No. 278, Part III-Section 4)

All question papers of Ph.D. programme will consist of two parts.

Part A consists of 50 questions based on research methodology including English and

General Knowledge and Numerical ability.

Part B consists of 50 questions from the respective subject domain.

Cut off marks to become eligible for the PhD interview, students are advised to refer to concerned participating universities (PUs) website.



  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; poles, residues 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 pseudoforces. 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 (particle in a box, harmonic oscillator, 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 (diodes, junctions, transistors, field effect devices, homo- and hetero-junction devices), device structure, device characteristics, frequency dependence and applications. Opto-electronic devices (solar cells, photo-detectors, LEDs). Operational amplifiers and their applications. Digital techniques and applications (registers, counters, 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,


  1. Mathematical Methods of Physics

    Green’s function. Partial differential equations (Laplace, wave and heat equations in two and three dimensions). Elements of computational techniques: root of functions, interpolation, extrapolation, integration by trapezoid and Simpson’s rule, Solution of first order differential equation using 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. HamiltonJacobi theory. III. Electromagnetic Theory Dispersion relations in plasma. Lorentz invariance of Maxwell’s equation. Transmission lines and wave guides. Radiation- from moving charges and dipoles and retarded potentials.

  3. Quantum Mechanics

    Spin-orbit coupling, fine structure. WKB approximation. Elementary theory of scattering: phase shifts, partial waves, Born approximation. Relativistic quantum mechanics: KleinGordon and Dirac equations. Semi-classical theory of radiation.

  4. 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.

  5. Electronics and Experimental Methods

    Linear and nonlinear curve fitting, chi-square test. Transducers (temperature, pressure/vacuum, magnetic fields, vibration, optical, and particle detectors). Measurement and control. Signal conditioning and recovery. Impedance matching, amplification (Op-amp based, instrumentation amp, feedback), filtering and noise reduction, shielding and grounding. Fourier transforms, lock-in detector, box-car integrator, modulation techniques. High frequency devices (including generators and detectors).

  6. Atomic & Molecular Physics

    Quantum states of an electron in an atom. Electron spin. Spectrum of helium and alkali atom. Relativistic corrections for energy levels of hydrogen atom, hyperfine structure and isotopic shift, width of spectrum lines, LS & JJ couplings. Zeeman, Paschen-Bach & Stark effects. Electron spin resonance. Nuclear magnetic resonance, chemical shift. Frank-Condon principle. Born-Oppenheimer approximation. Electronic, rotational, vibrational and Raman spectra of diatomic molecules, selection rules. Lasers: spontaneous and stimulated emission, Einstein A & B coefficients. Optical pumping, population inversion, rate equation. Modes of resonators and coherence length.

  7. 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. Quasi crystals.

  8. Nuclear and Particle Physics

    Basic nuclear properties: size, shape and charge distribution, spin and parity. Binding energy, semi-empirical mass formula, liquid drop model. Nature of the nuclear force, 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 (charge, spin, parity, 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 weak interaction. Relativistic kinematics.