General topics for preliminary examination - Science - Physics special #26
In science topic, more questions are asked in TNPSC compared to UPSC. In TNPSC, questions are mostly direct and easily answerable based on bookish knowledge; while in UPSC, questions are mostly based on our conceptual understanding and applied science in current affairs and our day to day life. 1-2 questions related to Physics can be expected in UPSC. A maximum of 4 questions have been asked. Therefore without sweating it too much and doing research, just learn the basic concepts.
First learn all the major units (such as SI system, MKS system, etc.). Then lessons related to mechanics such as speed, velocity, acceleration, friction, impulse, torque, work, power, energy, gravitation, centripetal and centrifugal forces, and their foundational concepts as well as major tools that work on them need to be learned. Similarly, laws of Neuton, laws of Kepler, Pascal’s law, Archimedes Principle, etc., can be made into a table and studied - you don’t have to learn by heart without leaving even “is” and “was” as in school and college days! Learn only the basic principle and main features of each law.
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Which of the following are correct as per Bernoulli’s theorem?
1) Air flight
2) Motion of a cricket ball
3) Motion of a bus
1 and 3
2 and 3
1and 2 ( answer )
Next learn the major topics in sound, wave, oscillation, etc., such as Electromagnetic waves, UV rays, X Ray, Infra red rays, and their main applications. Interference, refraction, Doppler effect, etc., are important. Similarly learn about the main measures of heat and thermodynamics, thermometer, thermal expansion, laws of thermodynamics and their applications, heat engines, evaporation, refrigeration, heat transmission, Newton’s cooling law, Carnot’s law, Kirchhoff’s law, Stefan’s law, etc.
In light and wave optics, learn about eclipse, laws of reflection, mirrors and types (with examples), light scattering, prism, optical implements (camera, microscope, etc.,), laws such as Maxwell Electromagnetic theory, Doppler effect, polarisation, etc.
In electricity and magnetism topics, we should pay attention to electric charge, electric potential, Coulomb’s law, electric dipole, electric current and its types and uses, Ohm’s law, electrical appliances and their utility (Ammeter, Voltmeter, Galvanometer, Inverter, types of lamps), Kirchhoff’s law, Faraday’s law, Magnets, magnetic objects, magnetic flux, magnetic field, Curie’s law, Transformer, etc.
In addition to these, it is essential to know about photoelectric effect, atom, its components, various areas, models, tools that use them, atomic power, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, their applications and examples, radioactivity, and various electronic machinery (including laser).
Sample question (UPSC 2007)
Which wave among the following helps to show the organs in our body in a CT (computerised tomography) scan?
X Ray (answer)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Take a quick look at each topic mentioned above and prepare notes (in approximately 10 pages). Before exam, just learn from those notes and do well. Don’t waste time during examination thinking you need to learn more broadly or deeply. We shall meet in next topic.
- We shall win!