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INPHO Syllabus

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Syllabus of INPHO on Vedantu

Due to Covid 19 - The usual three-stage procedure for the selection of the teams to represent India at the International Olympiad that has been followed in prior years is now being shortened to a two-stage procedure as a one-time exception only for the academic year 2023-24. Read more about IOQ 2023-24.

The INPhO exam is the second stage for the first five stages of the Olympiad Exam for Physics in India. It eventually leads to the selection of the International Physics Olympiad exam.The INPhO exam organized by the Homi Bhabha Center For Science Education is usually conducted on the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February each year for the higher secondary level students.

Students of class 11 and 12 need to first attempt the NSEP exam to be eligible for the INPhO exam. This exam serves as a means to select candidates for the Orientation- Cum-Selection -camp in Physics as well as to represent India for the International Physics Olympiad exam.

Similar to the NSEP exam, the Indian National Physics Olympiad Syllabus 2023-24 is also similar to the syllabus of Class 11 and 12 (CBSE Board). The questions asked in the exam from the INPhO Olympiad Syllabus are subjective and are highly complex as similar to the questions asked in the International Physics Olympiad exams (IPHO). 

For this particular matter, the syllabus of IPHO should also be considered for the INPhO exam.INPhO Syllabus 2023-24.

About InPhO

InPho or the Indian national physics olympiad is conducted by the Indian Association of physics teachers (IAPT), it was first conducted in 1987, the Indian national physics Olympiad has its own website where you can find the important latest information related to this Olympiad. The Indian national physics Olympiad is conducted every year on the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February, for the higher secondary level students. There are a total of five stages of the Olympiad programme for physics in India, Indian national physics olympiad or InPho is the second stage in the five-stage program. The five stages of the olympiad programme for physics in India are- National Standard examination in physics(NSEP), The Indian national physics Olympiad (InPho), The orientation cum selection camp (OCSC), the Asian Physics Olympiad (APho), The pre-departure training camp (PDC).

In order to be eligible to give the Indian national physics Olympiad students need to clear phase 1 of the olympiad plan laid out for physics.

for students of classes 11 and 12. The aim of this examination is to select candidates for the third phase of the Olympiad programme that is the orientation cum selection camp (OCSC), and to represent India for the international physics Olympiad exam.

INPhO Syllabus 2023-24

The INPhO syllabus 2023-24 includes 7 subjective questions which should be solved in the duration of 3 hours. Earlier the INPhO syllabus was similar to the IPhO but now it is quite similar to the NSEC exam.

The INPhO syllabus has been changed for the convenience of students preparing for the IITJEE and the Physics Olympiad at the same time.Detailed INPhO Olympiad Syllabus  2023-24. The detailed INPhO Olympiad Syllabus 2023-24 for each section is discussed below. Students can refer to the below-given INPhO Olympiad syllabus for preparation of INPhO exam 2023-24.

1. Mechanics

  • Establishment of the Kinematics of a point mass. 

  • Newton's Laws and Inertial systems.

  • Closed and Open systems Momentum and Energy, Power work.

  • Conservation of Energy, Impulse, Conservation of Linear Momentum.

  • Elastic forces, The law of Gravitation, Frictional Forces, 

  • Potential Energy, Work in a Gravitational Field, Centripetal Acceleration, Kepler's Laws.

2. Mechanics of Rigid Bodies

  • Statics, Torque, Centre of Mass.

  • The motion of rigid bodies, Translation, Angular velocity, Rotation, Angular Acceleration, and Conservation of Angular Momentum.

  • Identification of motion of a rigid body around the fixed axis, Kinetic energy of a rotating body, Moment of inertia, External and Internal Forces.

  • Accelerated reference systems and inertial forces.

3. Hydromechanics

  • No particular questions will be asked from this topic but students should know the elementary concepts of pressure, the continuity law, and buoyancy.

4. Thermodynamics and Molecular Physics

  • Internal energy, First and Second laws of Thermodynamics, Work and Heat.

  • Model of a perfect gas, Pressure and molecular kinetic energy, Formulation of state of a perfect gas, Avogadro's number, Absolute Temperature.

  • The accomplishment of work by an expanding gas limited to isothermal and adiabatic processes.

  • The Carnot cycle, Reversible and Irreversible processes, Thermodynamics Efficiency, Entropy (statistical approach), and Boltzmann factor.

5. Oscillations and Waves

  • Harmonic oscillations and the equation of Harmonic Oscillation.

  • Harmonic waves, Transverse and Longitudinal Waves, Propagation of waves, Linear polarization, Sound waves, The Classical Doppler effect.

  • Superposition of harmonic waves, Interference, Coherent waves, Standing waves, Beats

6. Electric Charge and Electric Field

  • Conservation of charge, Coulomb's law

  • Electric field, Gauss' Law, Potential

  • Dielectric constant and energy density of the electric field, Capacitors, and Capacitance, etc.

7. Current and Magnetic Field

  • Ohm's law, Internal resistance of source, Kirchhoff's laws, Joule's law, Work Current Resistance, Work and power of direct and alternating currents.

  • The magnetic field of a current, Lorentz force, Current in a magnetic field.

  • Ampere's law

  • Law of electromagnetic induction, Lenz's law, Magnetic Flux, Self-induction, Energy Density of Magnetic field, Inductance, Permeability.

  • Voltage and Current (series and parallel) Resonances, Resistors, Inductors and Capacitors in AC circuits, Alternating current.

8. Electromagnetic Waves

  • Generation by feedback and resonance, Frequency of Oscillations, Oscillatory circuit.

  • Wave optics, Diffraction grating, Diffraction from one and two slits, Bragg reflection, Resolving power of a grating.

  • Line spectra of gases, and Dispersion and Diffraction spectra

  • Electromagnetic waves as transverse waves, Polarizers, Polarization by reflection.

  • Resolving Power of Imaging Systems.Black body and Stefan-Boltzmann’s law.

9. Quantum Physics

  • The impulse of the Photon, and Photoelectric effect and energy  

  • De Broglie Wavelength and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

10. Relativity

  • Principle of Relativity, Relativistic Doppler effect, Addition of velocities.

  • Energy, Momentum, Relation between energy and mass, Conservation of energy and Momentum, Relativistic identification of motion.

  • Simple applications of the Bragg equation.

  • Energy levels of atoms and molecules (qualitatively),  Absorption, Spectrum of hydrogen-like atoms emission.

  • Alpha- Beta-Gamma-Decomposition, half-life, and exponential decay, Absorption of radiation, Components of nuclei, Nuclear reactions, Mass defect, Energy levels of nuclei (qualitatively).

The Detailed syllabus of the Indian national physics Olympiad (InPhO) is

Note- The syllabus for info is the same as NSEP, aspirants who are preparing for info must first clear their bases taught in  physics of class 11th and 12th. However the syllabus pattern of info contains questions of higher difficulty level, these are the questions that also come in international physics Olympiad therefore students should prepare in that manner.


Kinematics related to point mass, Open and closed systems, inertial system as well as Newton's law, elastic forces, energy and momentum, potential energy, Kepler‘s law, law of gravitation, centripetal acceleration, frictional forces, gravitational field.

Mechanics of Rigid Bodies

Torque, Translation, rotation, motion of rigid bodies, angular velocity and acceleration, angular momentum. Motion of a rigid body, inertia, kinetic energy, external and internal forces, inertial force and accelerated reference systems.


Students must know the concept of elementary concepts of pressure, continuity law and buoyancy. No questions will be asked from this topic however the understanding of these concepts is necessary.

Thermodynamics and Molecular Physics

Thermodynamics- first and second law, internal energy, perfect gas model, formulation of a perfect gas, molecular kinetic energy, carnot cycle, thermodynamics efficiency, reversible and irreversible process, Boltzmann factor, entropy.

Oscillations and Waves

Harmonic oscillations. Harmonic, transverse and longitudinal, Doppler effect, coherent waves, harmonic waves, beats, standing waves.

Electric Charge and Electric Field

Conservation of charge, Coulomb's law. Electric field, gauss’s Energy density of the electric field and dielectric constant, capacitors and capacitance.

Current and Magnetic Field

Ohm’s law, internal resistance of source, kirchchoff’s laws, Current resistance, joule's law, working of direct and alternating currents, lorentz force, magnetic field, current in a magnetic field, ampere’s law

Voltage and current resonances, resistors, inductors and capacitors in AC circuit, alternating current.

Electromagnetic Waves

Generation by feedback and reasons, frequency of oscillation, and oscillations circuit. Wave optics, resolving power of grating, diffraction grating, gragg reflection, diffraction from one and two slits. Line spectra, dispersion and diffraction spectra.

diffraction grating, wave optics, diffraction from one and two slits, resolving power of a grating, Gragg reflection. Resolving power of Imaging systems. Black body and Stefan –Boltzmann’s law.

Quantum Physics

The impulse of the photon, photoelectric effect and energy.


Doppler effect, relativity principle,

Energy, velocity, momentum, energy and mass, relativistic identification, conserving energy and momentum, Bragg equation, atoms and molecules and their energy levels, absorption, spectrum of hydrogen-like atoms emission. Absorption of radiation, nuclei components, mass defect, alpha-beta decomposition, mass defect, half-life exponential decay, nuclei energy levels.

Alpha-beta Gamma decomposition, half-life and exponential decay, absorption of radiation, components of nuclei, nuclear reactions, mass defect, energy levels of nuclei.

FAQs on INPHO Syllabus

1. What is the eligibility criteria of the Indian national physics Olympiad?

It is entirely up to the students to make sure that they fulfil the eligibility criteria before he or she applies for InPhO. In any stage of the examination if the authorities find any discrepancy in the eligibility criteria of the student then he or she will be disqualified from the Olympiad programme.

The eligibility criteria for InPhOis are as follows-

Students who are in class 12 or lower can apply for InPhO, students studying in colleges are not eligible for the program.

The candidate should have an Indian passport, that is the nationality should be Indian.

The candidate must not have appeared in NSEJS of the previous year.

It is important to note that the candidate has to be a resident of India and the candidate should have done his or her schooling in India from November 30, 2018, onwards and he or she must not have completed the 12th board examination earlier than the same date.

The candidate must be born between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2006.

2. What are the five phases of the Olympiad programme of physics in India?

Phase I: NSEP also called - National Standard Examination in Physics

Phase II: INPhO also called - Indian National Physics Olympiad 

Phase III: OCSC also called - The Orientation cum Selection Camp in physics

Phase IV: PDT also called - Pre-departure Training Camp for IPhO 

Stage V: IPhO- Participation in International Physics Olympiad

3. Where can I find the syllabus for InPhO?

The syllabus for InPhO and other details that are required to know before starting the admission process provided on Vedantu‘s website, Vedantu provides information on InPhO which is extremely important to know before giving an examination. Vedantu provides various material like the latest syllabus for InPhO and the five stages of the physics Olympiad programme, it also states the eligibility criteria for the Indian national physics Olympiad, The exam pattern and structure of InPhO can also be found on Vedantu‘s website, students who may find it difficult to enrol in the international physics Olympiad can also know about the process of enrolment which is discussed in the Vedantu‘s website.

4. What is the exam pattern and structure of InPhO? 

The Indian national physics Olympiad is held every year on the last Sunday of January, the date and time of the examination is usually given on the HBCSE website, it is updated in the first week of January every year,the exam duration of InPhO is of three hours.

The confirmed date and schedule of the examination is hosted on the website and students also get an email about the same so that no student misses out on any important information. Students who appeared for the Olympiad are eligible for travel allowance and dearness allowance as per the rules of the program.

5. What is the enrolment process of the Indian national physics Olympiad?

For the enrolment, students have to pay the fees of registration that is Rs.150. The fee is charged according to the subject and it needs to be paid at the NSE registration centre.

The steps for the enrolment process for InPhO are as follows-

Go to the website of HBCSE

Click on the Olympiad option that is available at the top

Click on upcoming events

Enter the necessary details displayed on your screen like, NSE Centre code, roll number, date of birth to enrol in INO.

Students can choose their examination centre at their convenience during the time of registration

6. How to Download an INPhO 2023 Admit Card and Result?

The admit card of the INPhO 2023 exam is available through the online mode. The candidates can download the INPhO 2023 exam admit card from the HBCSE official website before the few dates of the examination.

The INPhO result of 2023 can also be downloaded from the HBCSE official website. The candidates can easily download the INPhO exam result by mentioning the details such as NSE roll numbers, date of birth, and the verification code. The date of birth format should be DDMMYYYY.

7. How to Enroll in the INPhO Exam 2023?

The candidates who are not aware of how to enroll for the INPhO exam 2023 can follow the steps given below. Here is the simple process to complete the enrollment exam for the INPhO exam 2023.

  1. Visit the HBCSE official website.

  2. Click on the Olympiad option which is available on the top of the HBCSE website.

  3. Then click on the upcoming events.

  4. Mansion details such as NSE roll number, center code, DOB to enroll for the INPhO exam 2023.

  5. Students are required to select the examination center at the time of registration for the INPhO exam 2023.

8. What are the Reference Books for the  INPhO 2023?

The INPhO exam is the most competitive Physics exam in India with only 40 students selected from all over India. The INPhO exam does not require much understanding. A thorough understanding of +2 level concepts is more than enough. For clearing the INPhO exam, students definitely need aptitude skills to solve subjective questions.

Here are some of the INPhO reference books that can be used to clear the INPhO exam 2023.

  • Arihant INPhO, the old edition

  • Arihant INPhO, the new edition

  • The usual God book -IE Irodov

9. What are the Eligibility Criteria for the INPhO Exam 2023?

Eligibility Criteria for the INPhO Exam 

  1. Students selected from the stage 1 NSEP exam are eligible for the INPhO exam.

  2. The candidates who have represented India in the International Physics Olympiad exam last year, need not attempt the first stage of the NSEP examination in Physics. They may be permitted on special requests to the  National Coordinator of the respective subjects to straightaway attempt for the Indian National Physics Olympiad INPhO) in case they satisfy eligibility criteria such as age, class, etc which are applicable for the Physics Olympiad exam.

10. How difficult is InPho?

InPho is a difficult exam. To do well, you need to have a strong foundation in Physics and Mathematics. Students should be well-versed in the curriculum of their degree, and it is beneficial if they have a strong foundation within natural sciences and mathematics. They should also read the information about the competency of each faculty member (e.g., in Physics, they need to know some basics like the kinetic theory of gases, electromagnetism and atomic physics). It is easier for them to do well if they have good knowledge of the syllabus.

11. What does InPho require?

The syllabus requires a strong foundation in Physics and Mathematics, good knowledge of the curriculum of the degree and an understanding of the layout of the question paper. Students should be familiar with how to solve the Physics and Mathematics questions. Vedantu provides a list of practice questions and a test series to help students practise for their InPho and help them understand the subject material. Students can also ask Vedantu for help with their InPho or they can sign up with Vedantu's InPho subject experts to clear their doubts.

12. Do we need to know everything in InPho?

No, students only need to focus on topics that are relevant to their study area as well as those which they need to know well for their examination. However, they should also try and read the whole syllabus as there might be questions that are not related to their study area and they will have to understand those topics to answer them. Vedantu provides practice questions, along with explanations and detailed notes to help students understand the topics better.

13. What is the best way to prepare for InPho?

Read a lot about Physics and do questions from previous years. This will give students an idea of what to expect. Students should also try and understand the syllabus well to fill in any gaps they might have. Finally, students must be calm on the day of the exam, so their positive attitude carries them through. Our team of InPho subject experts as well as our online test series can also help students prepare for their exams.

14. What is the best way for a student to monitor their progress?

You can have a study schedule and monitor your progress. It is also helpful if students ask themselves how much they know about the subject and try to fill in the gaps in their knowledge as well as doing questions from previous years. Students can also look at the syllabus and see if there are any topics that they would like to focus on. In addition, InPho Syllabus 2023 is available on Vedantu for students to download and refer to. Students can also ask their teachers questions based on InPho material or sign up with a tutor to go through Vedantu's InPho test series to understand their strengths and weaknesses.