CBSE Class 12 physics syllabus

Physics is the most interesting discipline but at times difficult for a few students because of its wide range of components including complex formulas, Demonstrations, theorems and theoretical concepts. It is utmost important to be aware of a well-defined syllabus that guides every detail throughout the academic year. The following section gives information on the class12 CBSE syllabus for the academic year 2019-2020.


Topic details

No. of Periods


Unit–I. Electrostatics

Chapter–1: Electric Charges and  Fields



Chapter–2: Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance

Unit-II. Current Electricity

Chapter–3: Current  Electricity


Unit-III. Magnetic Effects of Current and Magnetism

Chapter–4: Moving Charges and  Magnetism



Chapter–5: Magnetism and Matter

Unit-IV. Electromagnetic Induction and Alternating


Chapter–6: Electromagnetic Induction


Chapter–7: Alternating Current

Unit–V. Electromagnetic Waves

Chapter–8: Electromagnetic Waves



Unit–VI. Optics

Chapter–9: Ray Optics and Optical Instruments


Chapter–10: Wave Optics

Unit–VII. Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter

Chapter–11: Dual Nature  of Radiation and Matter



Unit–VIII. Atoms and Nuclei

Chapter–12: Atoms


Chapter–13: Nuclei

Unit–IX. Electronic Devices

Chapter–14: Semiconductor         Electronics:

Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits






Chapter–1: Electric Charges and  Fields

  1. Electric Charges; Conservation of charge, Coulomb’s law-force between two point charges, forces between multiple charges; superposition principle and continuous charge distribution.

  2. Electric field, electric field due to a point charge, electric field lines, electric dipole, electric field due to a dipole, torque on a dipole in uniform electric field.

  3. Electric flux, statement of Gauss’s theorem and its applications to find field due to infinitely long straight wire, uniformly charged infinite plane sheet and uniformly charged thin spherical shell (field inside and outside).

Chapter–2: Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance

  1. Electric potential, potential difference, electric potential due to a point charge, a dipole and system of charges; equipotential surfaces, electrical potential energy of a system of two point charges and of electric dipole in an electrostatic field.

  2. Conductors and insulators, free charges and bound charges inside a conductor. Dielectrics and electric polarization, capacitors and capacitance, combination of capacitors in series and in parallel, capacitance of a parallel plate capacitor with and without dielectric medium between the plates, energy stored in a capacitor.

Chapter–3: Current  Electricity

  1. Electric current, flow of electric charges in a metallic conductor, drift velocity, mobility and their relation with electric current; Ohm’s law, electrical resistance, V-I characteristics (linear and non-linear), electrical energy and power, electrical resistivity and conductivity. Carbon resistors, color code for carbon resistors; series and parallel combinations of resistors; temperature dependence of resistance.

  2. Internal resistance of a cell, potential difference and emf of a cell, combination of cells in series and in parallel. Kirchhoff’s laws and simple applications. Wheatstone bridge, Meter Bridge.

  3. Potentiometer - principle and its applications to measure potential difference and for comparing emf of two cells; measurement of internal resistance of a cell.

Chapter-4: Moving Charges and Magnetism

  1. Concept of magnetic field, Oersted’s experiment.

  2. Biot - Savart law and its application to current carrying circular loop.

  3. Ampere’s law and its applications to infinitely long straight wire. Straight and toroidal solenoids, Force on a moving charge in uniform magnetic and electric fields. Cyclotron.

  4. Force on a current-carrying conductor in a uniform magnetic field. Force between two parallel current-carrying conductors-definition of ampere. Torque experienced by a current loop in uniform magnetic field; moving coil galvanometer-its current sensitivity and conversion to ammeter and voltmeter.

Chapter-5: Magnetism and Matter

  1. Current loop as a magnetic dipole and its magnetic dipole moment. Magnetic dipole moment of a revolving electron. Magnetic field intensity due to a magnetic dipole (bar magnet) along its axis and perpendicular to its axis. Torque on a magnetic dipole (bar magnet) in a uniform magnetic field; bar magnet as an equivalent solenoid, magnetic field lines; Earth’s magnetic field and magnetic elements.

  2. Para-, dia- and ferro - magnetic substances, with examples. Electromagnets and factors affecting their strengths. Permanent magnets.

Chapter–6: Electromagnetic Induction

  1. Electromagnetic induction; Faraday’s laws, induced emf and current; Lenz’s Law, Eddy currents.

  2. Self and mutual induction.

Chapter-7: Alternating Current

  1. Alternating currents, peak and rms value of alternating current/voltage; reactance and impedance; LC oscillations (qualitative treatment only), LCR series circuit, resonance; power in AC circuits, wattless current.

  2. AC generator and transformer.         

Chapter–8: Electromagnetic Waves

  1. Basic idea of displacement current, Electromagnetic waves, their characteristics, their transverse nature (qualitative ideas only).

  2. Electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays) including elementary facts about their uses.

Chapter–9: Ray Optics and Optical Instruments

  1. Ray Optics: Reflection of light, spherical mirrors, mirror formula. Refraction of light, total internal reflection and its applications, optical fibers, refraction at spherical surfaces, lenses, thin lens formula, lensmaker’s formula.

  2. Magnification, power of a lens, combination of thin lenses in contact combination of a lens and a mirror. Refraction and dispersion of light through a prism.

  3. Scattering of light - blue color of sky and reddish appearance of the sun at sunrise and sunset.

Chapter–10: Wave Optics

  1. Wave front and Huygen's principle, reflection and refraction of plane wave at a plane surface using wave fronts. Proof of laws of reflection and refraction using Huygen's principle.

  2. Interference Young's double slit experiment and expression for fringe width, coherent sources and sustained interference of light. Diffraction due to a single slit, width of central maximum. Resolving power of microscopes and astronomical telescopes.

  3. Polarization, plane polarized light Brewster's law, uses of plane polarized light and Polaroid’s.     

Chapter11: Dual nature of radiation

  1. Dual nature of radiation. Photoelectric effect, Hertz and Lenard’s observations; Einstein’s photoelectric equation-particle nature of light.

  2. Matter waves-wave nature of particles, de Broglie relation. Davisson-Germer experiment (experimental details should be omitted; only conclusion should be explained).

Chapter-12: Atoms

  1. Alpha-particle scattering experiment; Rutherford’s model of atom; Bohr model, energy levels, hydrogen spectrum.

Chapter-13: Nuclei

  1. Composition and size of nucleus, atomic masses, isotopes, isobars; isotones. Radioactivity, alpha, beta and gamma particles/rays and their properties; radioactive decay law.

  2. Mass-energy relation, mass defect; binding energy per nucleon and its variation with mass number; nuclear fission, nuclear fusion.

Chapter–14:     Electronic Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits

  1. Energy bands in conductors, semiconductors and insulators (qualitative ideas only)

  2. Semiconductor diode - I-V characteristics in forward and reverse bias, diode as a rectifier;

    1. Special purpose p-n junction diodes: LED, photodiode, solar cell and Zener diode and their characteristics, Zener diode as a voltage regulator.

    2. Junction transistor, transistor action, characteristics of a transistor and transistor as an amplifier (common emitter configuration), basic idea of analogue and digital signals, Logic gates (OR, AND, NOT, NAND and NOR).

Chapter-15: Communication Systems

  1. Elements of a communication system (block diagram only); bandwidth of signals (speech, TV and digital data); bandwidth of transmission medium. Propagation of electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere, sky and space wave propagation, satellite communication. Need for modulation, amplitude modulation.




Course List