The Indian National Physics Olympiad (INPhO) is the second stage of India’s five-stage Olympiad programme for physics. It leads to selection for the International Physics Olympiad. It is necessary to participate in the exam for secondary school students who would like to broaden their knowledge of physics. The IPhO is a competitive test that serves as a benchmark for pre-university physics students and promotes interaction with other participants at the global level. The INPhO exam’s primary goal is to improve the performance of physics educational standards.
Highlights of the Exam
The INPhO exam, which is organised by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, is usually held on the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February every year for students in the upper secondary level. To qualify for the INPhO exam, students in grades 11 and 12 must first take the National Standard Examination in Physics exam. This exam is used to screen applicants for the Orientation-Cum-Selection-Camp in Physics, as well as to represent India in the International Physics Olympiad exam. The InPhO syllabus is also similar to that of Classes 11 and 12 of the CBSE Board.
The syllabus for INPhO is very similar to that of NSEP. The syllabus, on the other hand, is only a broad framework. National Olympiad questions and problems are typically non-conventional and of a high difficulty level, similar to International Olympiads. The INPhO olympiad syllabus of each section is discussed below. Students can use the INPhO olympiad syllabus provided below to prepare for the INPhO exam. It is equivalent to senior secondary level (including Classes XI and Class XII).
A Few Vital Topics from Class XI Physics
Students can benefit from the Class 11 physics syllabus. Students must cover all important topics and subtopics of CBSE physics to pass the exam. The chapters in the syllabus are divided into ten units, as shown below.
Name of the Chapter
UNIT I: Physical World and Measurement
Physics – scope and excitement
Nature of physical laws
Physics, technology and society
Units and Measurements
Need for measurement
Units of measurement; systems of units
SI units, fundamental and derived units
Length, mass and time measurements
Accuracy and precision of measuring instruments
Errors in measurement; significant figures
Dimensions of physical quantities, dimensional analysis and its applications
UNIT II: Kinematics
Motion in a Straight Line
Elementary concepts of differentiation and integration for describing motion, uniform and non-uniform motion, average speed and instantaneous velocity, uniformly accelerated motion, velocity-time and position-time graphs
Relations for uniformly accelerated motion (graphical treatment)
Motion in a Plane
Scalar and vector quantities
Position and displacement vectors, general vectors and their notations
Equality of vectors, multiplication of vectors by a real number
Addition and subtraction of vectors, relative velocity, unit vector
Resolution of a vector in a plane, rectangular components, scalar and vector product of vectors.
Motion in a plane, cases of uniform velocity and uniform acceleration-projectile motion, uniform circular motion
Unit III: Laws of Motion
Laws of Motion
Intuitive concept of force
Newton’s first law of motion
Newton’s second law of motion and impulse
Newton’s third law of motion
Law of conservation of linear momentum and its applications.
Equilibrium of concurrent forces, static and kinetic friction, laws of friction, rolling friction, lubrication
Dynamics of uniform circular motion: Centripetal force, examples of circular motion (vehicle on a level circular road, vehicle on a banked road)
Unit IV: Work, Energy and Power
.Work, Energy and Power
Work is done by a constant force and a variable force; kinetic energy, work-energy theorem, and power
The notion of potential energy, the potential energy of a spring
Conservative forces: Conservation of mechanical energy (kinetic and potential energies); non-conservative forces
Motion in a vertical circle; elastic and inelastic collisions in one and two dimensions
Unit V: Motion of System of Particles and Rigid Body
System of Particles and Rotational Motion
Centre of mass of a two-particle system, momentum conservation and centre of mass motion.
Centre of mass of a rigid body; centre of mass of a uniform rod
Moment of a force, torque, angular momentum, law of conservation of angular momentum and its applications
Equilibrium of rigid bodies, rigid body rotation and equations of rotational motion, comparison of linear and rotational motions
Moment of inertia, the radius of gyration, and values of moments of inertia for simple geometrical objects (no derivation)
Unit VI: Gravitation
Universal law of gravitation
Acceleration is due to gravity (recapitulation only) and its variation with altitude and depth
Gravitational potential energy and gravitational potential, escape velocity, orbital velocity of a satellite, Geo-stationary satellites
Unit VII: Properties of Bulk Matter
Mechanical Properties of Solids
Pressure due to a fluid column; Pascal’s law and its applications (hydraulic lift and hydraulic brakes), the effect of gravity on fluid pressure
Viscosity, Stokes’ law, terminal velocity, streamline and turbulent flow, critical velocity, Bernoulli’s theorem and its applications
Surface energy and surface tension, angle of contact, excess of pressure across a curved surface, application of surface tension ideas to drops, bubbles and capillary rise
Definition of temperature (zeroth law of thermodynamics)
Heat, work and internal energy
The first law of thermodynamics, isothermal and adiabatic processes
The second law of thermodynamics
Reversible and irreversible processes
Unit IX: Behaviour of Perfect Gases and Kinetic Theory
Equation of state of a perfect gas, work done in compressing a gas
Kinetic theory of gases – assumptions, the concept of pressure
Kinetic interpretation of temperature; RMS speed of gas molecules
Degrees of freedom, the law of equipartition of energy (statement only)
Application to specific heat capacities of gases; the concept of mean free path, Avogadro’s number
Unit X: Oscillations and Waves
Periodic motion – time period, frequency, displacement as a function of time, periodic functions.
Simple harmonic motion (S.H.M) and its equation; phase; oscillations of a loaded spring restoring force and force constant; energy in S.H.M. Kinetic and potential energies; simple pendulum derivation of expression for its time period. Free, forced and damped oscillations (qualitative ideas only), resonance
Wave motion: Transverse and longitudinal waves
Speed of travelling wave
Displacement relation for a progressive wave
Principle of superposition of waves
Reflection of waves
Standing waves in strings and organ pipes, beats
A Few Vital Topics from Class XII Physics
The Class 12 physics syllabus can help students. According to the physics syllabus, students must wrap all of the essential concepts and sub-topics of CBSE physics to pass the exam. The syllabus’s various chapters are divided into nine units, as shown below.
Name of the Chapter
UNIT I: Electrostatics
Electric Charges and Fields
Introduction to Electric Charges and Fields
Conductors and Insulators
Charging by Induction
Basic Properties of Electric Charge
Forces between Multiple Charges
Electric Field Lines
Electric Dipole-Dipole in a Uniform External Field
Continuous Charge Distribution
Gauss’s Law And Its Applications
Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
Introduction to Electrostatic Potential And Capacitance
Potential due to a Point Charge
Potential due to an Electric Dipole
Potential due to a System of Charges
Potential Energy of a System of Charges
Potential Energy in an External Field
Electrostatics of Conductors
Dielectrics and Polarisation
Capacitors and Capacitance
The Parallel Plate Capacitor
Effect of Dielectric on Capacitance
Combination of Capacitors
Energy Stored in a Capacitor
Van de Graaff Generator
UNIT II: Current Electricity
Introduction to Current Electricity
Electric Current in Conductors
Ohm’s Law and Limitations of Ohm’s Law
Drift of Electrons and the Origin of Resistivity
Resistivity of Various Materials
Temperature Dependence of Resistivity
Electrical Energy, Power
Combination of Resistors-Series and Parallel
Cells, emf, Internal Resistance
Cells in Series and Parallel
Unit III: Magnetic Effects of Current and Magnetism
Moving Charges and Magnetism
Motion in a Magnetic Field
Motion in Combined Electric and Magnetic Fields
Magnetic Field due to a Current Element, Biot-Savart Law
Magnetic Field on the Axis of a Circular Current Loop
Ampere’s Circuital Law
The Solenoid and the Toroid
Force between Two Parallel Currents, the Ampere
Torque on Current Loop, Magnetic Dipole
The Moving Coil Galvanometer
.Magnetism and Matter
The Bar Magnet
Magnetism and Gauss’s Law
The Earth’s Magnetism
Magnetisation and Magnetic Intensity
Magnetic Properties of Materials
Permanent Magnets and Electromagnets
Unit IV Electromagnetic Induction and Alternating Currents
The Experiments of Faraday and Henry
Faraday’s Law of Induction
Lenz’s Law and Conservation of Energy
Motional Electromotive Force
Energy Consideration: A Quantitative Study
AC Voltage Applied to a Resistor
Representation of AC Current and Voltage by Rotating Vectors-Phasors
AC Voltage Applied to an Inductor
AC Voltage Applied to a Capacitor
AC Voltage Applied to a Series LCR Circuit
Power in AC Circuit: The Power Factor
Unit V Electromagnetic Waves
Unit VI: Optics
Ray Optics and Optical Instruments
Reflection of Light by Spherical Mirrors
Total Internal Reflection
Refraction at Spherical Surfaces and by Lenses
Refraction through a Prism
Dispersion by a Prism
Some Natural Phenomena due to Sunlight
Refraction and Reflection of Plane Waves Using Huygens Principle
Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves
Interference of Light Waves and Young’s Experiment
Unit VII Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter
Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter
Experimental Study of Photoelectric Effect
Photoelectric Effect and Wave Theory of Light
Einstein’s Photoelectric Equation: Energy Quantum of Radiation
Particle Nature of Light: The Photon
Wave Nature of Matter
Davisson and Germer Experiment
Unit VIII Atoms and Nuclei
Alpha-particle Scattering and Rutherford’s Nuclear Model of Atom
Bohr Model of the Hydrogen Atom
The Line Spectra of the Hydrogen Atom
DE Broglie’s Explanation of Bohr’s Second Postulate of Quantisation
Introduction to Nuclei
Atomic Masses and Composition of Nucleus
Size of the Nucleus
Mass-Energy and Nuclear Binding Energy
Unit IX Electronic Devices
Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
Classification of Metals, Conductors, and Semiconductors
Application of Junction Diode as a Rectifier
Special Purpose p-n Junction Diodes
Digital Electronics and Logic Gates
Frequently Asked Questions on InPhO Syllabus
When is the InPhO exam conducted?
The INPhO exam, which is organised by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, is usually held on the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February every year for students in the upper secondary level.
What are the stages of the Physics Olympiad?
Stage I: National Standard Examination in Physics (NSEP) –
Stage 2: INPhO (Indian National Physics Olympiad)
Stage 3: Orientation Cum Selection Camp (OCSC) –
Stage 4: PDT stands for Pre-departure Training Camp for IPhO.
Stage5: IPhO (International Physics Olympiad) – IPhO stands for Indian National Physics Olympiad
Mention a few tips to crack the INPhO examination.
The following are a few suggestions for an easy and smooth study process for the physics olympiad.
Learn everything about the syllabus and the topics covered in the rescored curriculum.
When taking a competitive exam, early preparation is always the best.
Updates on the examination can be found on the official websites.
Examine the InPhO previous year’s papers and solve practice papers.
Try to enrol in an online or offline course that focuses on these exams.
To gain a better understanding of the subject, read, learn, revise, and solve more problems.
Revision helps to deepen one’s understanding of a subject.
Where can the candidate find the sample papers for the INPhO examination?
The candidate can find the sample papers of INPhO examination on the official website for reference and good preparation.
Why is this exam necessary?
Students who want to choose a career in physics can write this exam for a bright future. The IAPT administers this exam to assess students’ knowledge of physics and to pick the best candidates to represent India at the global level.