Topological quantum numbers are distinguished from quantum numbers based on symmetry because they are insensitive to the imperfections of the systems in which they are observed. They have become very important in precision measurements in recent years, and provide the best measurements of voltage and electrical resistance. This book describes the theory of such quantum numbers, starting with Dirac's argument for the quantization of electric charge, and continuing with discussions on the helium superfluids, flux quantization and the Josephson effect in superconductors, the quantum Hall effect, solids and liquid crystals, and topological phase transitions. The accompanying reprints include some of the classic experimental and theoretical papers in this area.Physicists — both experimental and theoretical — who are interested in the topic will find this book an invaluable reference.

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