About PTTS Programme

Physics Training and Talent Search (PTTS) is a training Programme for highly research motivated and talented undergraduate and post graduate students across the nation following active learning methodology of training.

Some participants in the past  have been provided internships . There is a possibility of providing internships for few highly promising students who perform well in the program.

Main Features


Active learning is gaining popularity in western countries.Interview with Carl Weiman, Nobel Laurate in Physics.

Teaching will be interactive in nature, where students will be encouraged to think, ask questions, critically examine the concepts and apply.Unlike in traditional lectures, in this programme classes will not be in the conventional chalk and talk style will be interactive in nature. Students will be asked questions, and will be encouraged to ask questions, in the lectures.They will be encouraged to discuss the solutions among themselves in the tutorials with the teacher playing more the role of a facilitator.

The experimental physics course will be structured so as to make students think of how to propose and design an experiment, and to identify errors in obtaining and interpreting the data. They will not be given a pre - designed experiment with instructions.

Though the content of the course is by and large traditional, the goal will be to train them to think like like a physicist.

To bring to focus the novelty in teaching methodology, a set of suggested guidelines for teachers has been prepared for both theory and experimental courses. which will be shared with the resource persons. We believe that this teaching methodology, in the theory courses and especially in the experimental course, will have a larger impact on the philosophy and training in physics education beyond PTTS.


Courses and Teachers:


Electricity and Magnetism : SVM satyanarayana (Pondycherry University)

Quantum theory:  Uma shankar  ( IIT, Mumbai)

Experimental Physics: KT Satyajit  (Amrita University)


Classical Mechanics : M.Sivakumar  ( Univ. of  Hyderabad)

Statistical Mechanics : S.R Shenoy ( TIFR- Hyd)

Quantum mechanics :  V.Ravishankar  ( IIT-Delhi)

Experimental physics: Anjan Gupta and A.Kelkar   (IIT-Kanpur)



We believe that students must have a sound understanding of the fundamental concepts of physics and must know how to apply them before they branch off to advanced topics. Hence we focus on those concepts which they are expected to know as a part of their regular college and university curriculum. The syllabus is framed keeping in mind the background of students from smaller institutions. However, the emphasis is not on completing the syllabus, but on ensuring that whatever students learn, they understand completely.

The effort will be made to have equitable distribution among different regions, from smaller institutions and gender.

Similar Programmes

This programme is modelled along the lines of highly successful Mathematics Training and Talent Search (MTTS) programme that has trained several mathematicians in India since 1993. For details visit www.mtts.org.in.

Other similar programmes in Physics are the Advanced B.Sc. (Physics) Programme in Ahmedabad, the REAP programme in Bangalore [http://www.taralaya.org/reap.html] and STIPAC: Summer Training in Physics and Chemistry at IGCAR, Kalpakkam. Coordinators of PTTS have been associated with the programmes at Ahmedabad and Kalpakkam.



During the class:



  1. NO Power point presentation of lectures, but only blackboard presentation.


  1. Classes have to be interactive. Conventional continuous lecturing should not be more than 10-15 minutes at a stretch.


Pause, by asking students for suggestions as to how to proceed further, giving hints if needed. Ask simple questions to check if they understood what was said.






  1. Care should be taken, so that we do not end with bright students alone answering with not so sharp or shy students not answering. Possible ways to avoid this include:
    • Ask everyone individually what they think
    • Ask other students if another student’s answer is correct.
    • Ask them to vote for different answers


The following has to be emphasized in the course of lectures:

  • Emphasize the Importance of notation: like arrows for vectors,
  • Don’t compartmentalize subjects: teaching course A, how concepts/techniques appear/change in other courses B,C.. must be pointed
  • Train them to  taking limits, qualitatively first guess the answer.


  1. Students should develop the spirit of They should be encouraged to ask and

answer “why, why not” kind of questions at every stage.If they dont, you ask them such questions.


e)We would like the teacher and tutor to attend the other courses at the same level. Coordinators will also be attending the classes.

We encourage any teacher attending the class to ask a potential good question which you expect a student must ask. Students must observe a mature question asked and learn to ask such questions in future.




  1. Usually one proves some general result and then illustrates it in several

See if it can be reversed it by working simple examples and then making students see the general result for themselves? This should give them a thrill of discovery.

  1. Students can be trained to ask questions which can be critical or

Critical questions: Something new is taught, how does it agree/not agree with what is already known?

Creative questions: If some result is shown in a given situation, envisage a different situation or add some complication and ask how the result is modified?

Such questions can be prepared when preparing the course. Feynman lectures has such approach.

  1. Students must learn to ponder over a problem/puzzle for a while and to arrive at a solution after thinking hard about it. This can be achieved by giving quiz/puzzle questions to be answered the next


Tutorial problems can have the following components, wherever possible:

  1. Critically examine concepts
  2. application of concept/technique 
  3. numerical problems to get feel for numbers
  4. prove some results.

Problems can be of increasing difficulty.

 In tutorials , participants will be asked formed in groups. Once problem sheet is given, they will be asked to discuss among themselves as to how to start the problem.

They should not jump to start writing without discussing. Each group has to be check with the tutors, if their approach is correct. Tutors will be more facilitators to help them come with their solution.


  1. Pose as a question what to investigate/prove.


Example: Show experimentally a)Force  is a vector, b) does diffraction depend on the state of polarization.?

 Example: Find a method of measuring the instantaneous velocity of a moving object.  Can involve circuits, which they can come up with.


2) Also it can be a problem posed to have  a controlled study and there should be scope for student to give qualitative theory to explain what they find.

Example: Measure damping constant of a damped oscillator as a function of temperature/concentration /pressure and find the behavior. Explain why such a behavior is seen.

Measure terminal velocity of any object and investigate how it depends on temperature/pressure/density of liquid. Give a theory to explain.


  1. Students should NOT be given any instructions as how to do the experiment.
  2. Students look around and use any available equipment/apparatus. Since we provide

very minimal equipment, students will have to fabricate their own equipment. The

budget constraint of Rs. 200 per student forces them to be innovative.

We sometimes give only empty room/empty lab .

  1. There should be scope for making measurements.
  2. Experimental error analysis: 1) identify sources of errors due to limitations of the

measurement process 2) identify sources of error due to mismatch between theoretical

idealization and experimental conditions.

There should a lecture on error analysis on the first few days


Past Programs

PTTS -2015      at Kuvempu University

PTTS 2016     at   Regional Institute of education

PTTS-2017  Loyola College  

PTTS-2018   National Institute of technology , Surathkal

PTTS-2019  Manipal Institute of Technology, Udipi

Await announcement of  2020  program in Februrary 2020



How to Apply