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CBSE Class 12 Physics Syllabus 2016 – 2017

May 6, 2016 10:00 IST

    CBSE has released syllabus of Class 12 for the academic session 2016‒2017.

    The key contents of the syllabus issued by CBSE for Class 12th Physics are:

    • Name of the Units and their weightage in Board Exam
    • Details of topics and sub-topics to be covered in each unit
    • Practical: Evaluation Scheme and List of experiments
    • Prescribed books
    • Question Paper Design for CBSE Class 12th Physics Board Exam (2016-17)

    The complete syllabus is as follows:

    Name of the Units and their weightage in Board Exam

    S. No.


    Number of Periods


    Unit I





    Chapter-1: Electric Charges and Fields




    Chapter-2: Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance

    Unit II

    Current Electricity



    Chapter-3: Current Electricity


    Unit III

    Magnetic Effect of Current & Magnetism




    Chapter-4: Moving Charges and Magnetism


    Chapter-5: Magnetism and Matter

    Unit IV

    Electromagnetic Induction & Alternating Current



    Chapter-6: Electromagnetic Induction


    Chapter-7: Alternating Current

    Unit V

    Electromagnetic Waves




    Chapter-8: Electromagnetic Waves

    Unit VI




    Chapter-9: Ray Optics and Optical Instruments


    Chapter-10: Wave Optics

    Unit VII

    Dual Nature of Matter




    Chapter-11: Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter

    Unit VIII

    Atoms & Nuclei



    Chapter-12: Atoms


    Chapter-13: Nuclei

    Unit IX

    Electronic Devices




    Chapter-14:  Semiconductor  Electronics

    Unit X

    Communication Systems



    Chapter-15: Communication Systems





    Details of topics and sub-topics to be covered in each unit

    Unit I: Electrostatics

    Chapter-1: Electric Charges and Fields

    Electric Charges: Conservation of charge; Coulomb's Law-force between two point charges; forces between multiple charges: superposition principle and continuous charge distribution.

    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.

    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

    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.

    Conductors and insulators, free charges and bound charges inside a conductor. Dielectrics and electric polarisation, 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.

    Unit II: Current Electricity

    Chapter-3: Current Electricity

    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, colour code for carbon resistors; series and parallel combinations of resistors; temperature dependence of resistance.

    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, metre bridge.

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

    Unit III: Magnetic Effects of Current and Magnetism

    Chapter-4: Moving Charges and Magnetism

    Concept of magnetic field, Oersted’s experiment.

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

    Ampere’s law and its applications to infinitely long straight wire. Straight and toroidal solenoids (only equivalent treatment); Force on a moving charge in uniform magnetic and electric fields; Cyclotron.

    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

    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.

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

    Unit IV: Electromagnetic Induction and Alternating Currents

    Chapter-6: Electromagnetic Induction

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

    Chapter-7: Alternating Current

    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, power factor wattless current. AC generator and transformer.

    Unit V: Electromagnetic waves

    Chapter-8: Electromagnetic Waves

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

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

    Unit VI: Optics

    Chapter-9: Ray Optics and Optical Instruments

    Ray Optics: Reflection of light; spherical mirrors; mirror formula; refraction of light; total internal reflection and its applications; optical fibres; refraction at spherical surfaces; lenses; thin lens formula; lensmaker’s formula; magnification, power of a lens; combination of thin lenses in contact; refraction and dispersion of light through a prism.

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

    Optical instruments: Microscopes and astronomical telescopes (reflecting and refracting) and their magnifying powers.

    Chapter-10: Wave Optics

    Wave optics: 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 Huygens’s principle. 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, polarisation, plane polarised light; Brewster's law; uses of plane polarised light and Polaroids.

    Unit VII: Dual Nature of Matter and Radiation

    Chapter-11: Dual Nature of Radiation and Matter

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

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

    Unit VIII: Atoms & Nuclei

    Chapter-12: Atoms

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

    Chapter-13: Nuclei

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

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

    Unit IX: Electronic Devices

    Chapter-14: Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits

    Energy bands in conductors; semiconductors and insulators (qualitative ideas only)

    Semiconductor diode: I-V characteristics in forward and reverse bias; diode as a rectifier;

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

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

    Unit X: Communication Systems

    Chapter-15: Communication Systems

    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 and frequency modulation, advantages of frequency modulation over amplitude modulation.

    Practicals: Evaluation Scheme and List of experiments                               (Total Periods 60)

    The record to be submitted by the students at the time of their annual examination has to include:

    • Record of at least 15 Experiments [with a minimum of 6 from each section], to be performed by the students.
    • Record of at [least 5 Activities with a minimum of 2 each from section A and section B], to be demonstrated by the teachers.
    • The Report of the project to be carried out by the students.

    Time Allowed: 3 hours                                                                                 Max. Marks: 30

    Two experiments one from each section

    8 + 8 Marks

    Practical record [experiments and activities]

    6 Marks

    Investigatory Project

    3 Marks

    Viva on experiments, activities and projects

    5 Marks


    30 Marks

    List of Experiments: Section A

    1. To determine resistance per cm of a given wire by plotting a graph for potential difference versus current.

    2. To find resistance of a given wire using metre bridge and hence determine the resistivity (specific resistance) of its material.

    3. To verify the laws of combination (series) of resistances using a metre bridge.

    4. To verify the Laws of combination (parallel) of resistances using a metre bridge.

    5. To compare the EMF of two given primary cells using potentiometer.

    6. To determine the internal resistance of given primary cell using potentiometer.

    7. To determine resistance of a galvanometer by half-deflection method and to find its figure of merit.

    8. To convert the given galvanometer (of known resistance and figure of merit) into a voltmeter of desired range and to verify the same.

    9. To convert the given galvanometer (of known resistance and figure of merit) into an ammeter of desired range and to verify the same.

    10. To find the frequency of AC mains with a sonometer.

    Activities (for the purpose of demonstration only)

    1. To measure the resistance and impedance of an inductor with or without iron core.

    2. To measure resistance, voltage (AC/DC), current (AC) and check continuity of a given circuit using multi meter.

    3. To assemble a household circuit comprising three bulbs, three (on/off) switches, a fuse and a power source.

    4. To assemble the components of a given electrical circuit.

    5. To study the variation in potential drop with Length of a wire for a steady current.

    6. To draw the diagram of a given open circuit comprising at Least a battery, resistor/rheostat, key, ammeter and voltmeter. Mark the components that are not connected in proper order and correct the circuit and also the circuit diagram.

    List of Experiments: Section B

    1. To find the value of v for different values of u in case of a concave mirror and to rind the focal length.

    2. To find the focal Length of a convex mirror, using a convex lens.

    3. To find the focal Length of a convex lens by plotting graphs between u and v or between 1/u and 1/v.

    4. To find the focal Length of a concave lens, using a convex lens.

    5. To determine angle of minimum deviation for a given prism by plotting a graph between angle of incidence and angle of deviation.

    6. To determine refractive index of a glass slab using a travelling microscope.

    7. To find refractive index of a liquid by using convex Lens and plane mirror.

    8. To draw the I-V characteristic curve for a p-n junction in forward bias and reverse bias.

    9. To draw the characteristic curve of a Zener diode and to determine its reverse break down voltage.

    10. To study the characteristic of a common - emitter npn or pnp transistor and to find out the values of current and voltage gains.

    Activities (For the purpose of demonstration only)

    1. To identify a diode, an LED, a transistor, an IC, a resistor and a capacitor from a mixed collection of such items.

    2. Use of multimeter to (i) identify base of transistor, (ii) distinguish between npn and pnp type transistors, (iii) see the unidirectional flow of current in case of a diode and an LED, (iv) check whether a given electronic component (e.g., diode, transistor or IC) is in working order.

    3. To study effect of intensity of tight (by varying distance of the source) on an LDR.

    4. To observe refraction and lateral deviation of a beam of tight incident obliquely on a glass slab.

    5. To observe polarization of light using two Polaroids.

    6. To observe diffraction or light due to a thin slit.

    7. To study the nature and size of the image formed by a (i) convex lens, (ii) concave mirror, on a screen by using a candle and a screen (for different distances of the candle from the lens/mirror).

    8. To obtain a lens combination with the specified focal length by using two lenses from the given set of lenses.

    Prescribed books

    1. Physics, Class XI, Part -I and II, Published by NCERT.

    2. Physics, Class XII, Part -I and II, Published by NCERT.

    3. The List of other related books and manuals brought out by NCERT (consider multimedia also).

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