ISC Class 12 Physics Syllabus

CISCE short for Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations is a private educational board in india. The board conducts the ISC (Indian School Certificate) examination for 12th standard students every year. ISC exam is known for its comprehensive syllabus and well-structured question papers. Students who are going to appear in the ISC examination must know the exam syllabus thoroughly to score well in the exam.

The ISC Class 12 Physics exam is considered as one of the vital papers in the exam. Students who want to make a crack competitive exams like JEE and NEET and make a career in the engineering or medical field must study this subject hard to excel in the examination. The ISC Class 12 Physics Syllabus is given here in a detailed manner to help students prepare for the exam in a better and more effective way.

Part I (20 marks) has compulsory short questions which are based on fundamental concepts coming under the entire syllabus.

Part II (50 marks): This part has 3 sections, A, B and C. Out of the 6 questions under section A, only 4 have to be answered. Out of the 4 questions under section B, only 3 have to be answered. Out of the 4 questions in section C, only 3 have to be answered. Totally, the candidate has to answer 10 questions from part II.


  • Electrostatics

(i) Coulomb’s law, S.I. unit of charge; permittivity of free space.

(ii) The concept of electric field E = F/qo; Gauss’ theorem and its applications.

(iii) Electric dipole; electric field at a point on the axis and perpendicular bisector of a dipole; electric dipole moment; torque on a dipole in a uniform electric field.

(iv) Electric lines of force.

(v) Electric potential and potential energy; potential due to a point charge and due to a dipole; potential energy of an electric dipole in an electric field. Van de Graff generator.

(vi) The capacitance of a conductor C = Q/V, farad; the capacitance of a parallel-plate capacitor; C = ε0A/d. Capacitors in series and parallel combinations; effective capacitance and charge distribution. Energy stored

(vii) Dielectrics (elementary ideas only); permittivity and relative permittivity of a dielectric (εr = ε/εo). Effects on pd, charge, and capacitance. Electric polarisation.

  • Current Electricity

(i) Mechanism of flow of current in metals drift velocity and mobility of electrons, Ohm’s Law, and its proof. Resistance and resistivity and their relation to drift velocity of electrons; description of resistivity and conductivity based on electron theory; effect of temperature on resistance, color coding of resistance.

(ii) The potential difference as the power supplied divided by the current. Ohm’s law (V-I characteristics) and its limitations; Combinations of resistors in series and parallel; Electric energy and power.

(iii) Electromotive force in a cell; internal resistance and back emf. Combination of cells in series, parallel and mixed grouping.

(iv) Kirchoff’s laws and their simple applications to circuits with resistors and sources of emf; Wheatstone bridge, meter-bridge, and a potentiometer; use to measure potential difference and for comparison of emf and determination of internal resistance of sources of current; use of resistors (shunts and multipliers) in ammeters and voltmeters.

  • Magnetism

(i) Magnetic field B, the definition from the magnetic force on a moving charge; magnetic field lines; magnetic field and magnetic flux density; the earth’s magnetic field and magnetic elements; Magnetic field of a magnetic dipole.

(ii) Properties of dia, para, and ferromagnetic substances; susceptibility and relative permeability, hysteresis.

  • Electromagnetism

(i) Oersted’s experiment; Biot-Savart law, the Tesla; a magnetic field near a long straight wire, at the center of a circular loop, and at a point on the axis of a circular coil carrying current. Amperes circuital law and its application to obtain magnetic field due to a long straight wire and a solenoid.

(ii) Force on a moving charge in a magnetic field; force on a current carrying conductor kept in a magnetic field; force between two long and parallel current carrying wires; definition of ampere based on the force between two current carrying wires. Cyclotron.

(iii) A current loop as a magnetic dipole; magnetic dipole moment; torque on a current loop (magnetic dipole); moving coil galvanometer.

(iv) Electromagnetic induction, magnetic flux, and induced emf; Faraday’s laws and Lenz’s law, motional emf; eddy currents.

(v) Mutual and self-inductance: the Henry. Growth and decay of current in LR and RC circuits (dc) (graphical approach), the time constant. Transformer.

(vi) Simple a.c. generators. Basic differences between a.c. and d.c.

  • Alternating Current Circuits

(i) Change of voltage and current with time, phase; peak and rms values of voltage and current; their relation in sinusoidal case.

(ii) Variation of voltage and current in a.c. circuits consisting of only a resistor, only an inductor and only a capacitor (phasor representation), phase lag and phase lead.

(iii) The LCR series circuit: phasor diagram, an expression for V or I; phase lag/lead; impedance of a series LCR circuit (arrived at by phasor diagram); Special cases for RL and RC circuits.

(iv) Power P associated with LCR circuit = ½VoIo cosφ =VrmsIrms cosφ = Irms2R; power absorbed and power dissipated; choke coil (choke and starter); electrical resonance; bandwidth of signals and Q factor; oscillations in an LC circuit (ω = 1/√LC).


  • Wave Optics

(i) The complete electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays; transverse nature of electromagnetic waves, Huygen’s principle; laws of reflection and refraction from Huygen’s principle.

(ii) Conditions for the interference of light, interference of monochromatic light by a double slit; Young’s double slit experiment, measurement of wavelength.

(iii) Single slit Fraunhofer diffraction (elementary explanation).

(iv) Plane polarised electromagnetic wave (elementary idea), methods of polarisation of light. Brewster’s law; polaroids.

  • Ray Optics and Optical Instruments

(i) Reflection of light by spherical mirrors.

(ii) Refraction of light at a plane interface, Snell’s law; total internal reflection and critical angle; total reflecting prisms and optical fibers.

(iii) Refraction through a prism, minimum deviation, and derivation of the relation between n, A and δmin.

(iv) Refraction at a single spherical surface (relation between n1, n2, u, v and R); refraction through thin lenses (lens maker’s formula and formula relating u, v, f, n, R1, and R2); lens formula, combined focal length of two thin lenses in contact. Combination of lenses and mirrors [Silvering of lens excluded] and magnification. Spherical aberration.

(v) Dispersion; dispersive power; pure and impure spectrum; Scattering of light. Chromatic aberration.

(vi) Simple microscope; Compound microscope and their magnifying power.

(vii) Simple astronomical telescope (refracting and reflecting), magnifying power and resolving power of a simple astronomical telescope.

(viii) Human Eye, Defects of vision and their correction.


  • Electrons and Photons

(i) Photoelectric effect, quantization of radiation; Einstein’s equation; threshold frequency; work function; stopping potential; energy and momentum of a photon. Determination of Planck’s Constant.

(ii) Wave-particle duality, De Broglie equation, the phenomenon of electron diffraction (qualitative only).

  • Atoms

(i) Charge and size of nuclei (α-particle scattering); atomic structure; Bohr’s postulates; radii of Bohr orbits for hydrogen atom; the energy of the hydrogen atom in the nth state; line spectra of hydrogen and calculation of ΔE and f for different lines.

(ii) Production of X-rays; maximum frequency for a given tube potential. Characteristic and continuous X -rays. Moseley’s law.

  • Nuclei

(i) Atomic masses; Isotopes, Isobars, and Isotones; unified atomic mass unit u and its value in MeV; composition and size of a nucleus; mass defect and binding energy. Energy-mass equivalence.

(ii) Radioactivity: nature and radioactive decay law, half-life, mean life and decay constant. Nuclear reactions.

  • Nuclear Energy

(i) Nuclear fission; chain reaction; the principle of operation of a nuclear reactor.

(ii) Nuclear fusion; thermonuclear fusion as the source of the sun’s energy.

  • Semiconductor Devices

(i) Energy bands in solids; energy band diagrams for the distinction between conductors, insulators, and semiconductors – intrinsic and extrinsic; electrons and holes in semiconductors.

(ii) Junction diode; depletion region; forward and reverse biasing, V-I characteristics; half wave and a full wave rectifier; solar cell, LED and a photodiode. Zener diode.

(iii) Junction transistor; npn and pnp transistors; current gain in a transistor and transistor as an amplifier in common emitter mode (only circuit diagram and qualitative treatment); transistor as a switch; oscillator.

(iv) Elementary idea of discrete and integrated circuits, analog and digital signals. Logic gates (symbols; working with truth tables; applications and uses) – NOT, OR, AND, NOR, NAND. Combination of gates.

  • Communication Systems

Propagation of electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere, sky, and space wave propagation, need for modulation, amplitude and frequency modulation, the bandwidth of signals, the bandwidth of transmission medium, basic elements of a communication system (block diagram only).

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