**
Below is the ascii version of the abstract for 08-176.
The html version should be ready soon.**Emil Prodan
Topological quantization of ensemble averages
(393K, PDF)
ABSTRACT. We define the current of a quantum observable and, under well defined conditions, we connect its ensemble average to the index of a Fredholm operator. The present work builds on a formalism developed by Kellendonk and Schulz-Baldes \cite{Kellendonk:2004p597} to study the quantization of edge currents for continuous magnetic Schroedinger operators. The generalization given here may be a useful tool to scientists looking for novel manifestations of the topological quantization. As a new application, we show that the differential conductance of atomic wires is given by the index of a certain operator. We also comment on how the formalism can be used to probe the existence of edge states.