Condensed Matter Physics, 2006, vol. 9, No. 2(46), p. 283304, English
DOI:10.5488/CMP.9.2.283
Title:
Homotopy in statistical physics
Author(s):
 R.Kenna
(Applied Mathematics Research Centre, Coventry University,
Coventry, CV1 5FB, England)

In condensed matter physics and related areas,
topological defects
play important roles in phase transitions and critical phenomena.
Homotopy theory facilitates the classification of such topological defects.
After a pedagogic introduction to the mathematical methods involved in topology
and homotopy theory,
the role of the latter in a number of mainly lowdimensional statisticalmechanical systems is
outlined. Some recent activities in this area are reviewed and some
possible future directions are discussed.
Key words:
homotopy, phase transitions, scaling, topological
defects
PACS:
02.40.Pc, 05.20.y, 64.60.i, 64.70.Md, 64.70.p
