Topological K-theory is a key tool in topology, differential geometry and index theory, yet this is the first contemporary introduction for graduate students new to the subject. No background in algebraic topology is assumed; the reader need only have taken the standard first courses in real analysis, abstract algebra, and point-set topology. The book begins with a detailed discussion of vector bundles and related algebraic notions, followed by the definition of K-theory and proofs of the most important theorems in the subject, such as the Bott periodicity theorem and the Thom isomorphism theorem. The multiplicative structure of K-theory and the Adams operations are also discussed and the final chapter details the construction and computation of characteristic classes. With every important aspect of the topic covered, and exercises at the end of each chapter, this is the definitive book for a first course in topological K-theory.

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