This new series Mechanics and Physics of Discrete Systems aims to provide a coherent picture of the modern development of discrete physical systems. Each volume will offer an orderly perspective of disciplines such as molecular dynamics, crystal mechanics and/or physics, dislocation, etc. Emphasized in particular are the fundamentals of mechanics and physics that play an essential role in engineering applications. Volume 1, Gauge Theory and Defects in Solids, presents a detailed development of a rational theory of the dynamics of defects and damage in solids. Solutions to field equations are used to determine stresses, dislocation densities and currents that arise from histories of loading of boundaries of bodies. Analysed in detail is a gauge theory with a gauge group that is not semi-simple, and whose action occurs at the classical macroscopic level. Yang-Mills theory is applied where the state variables are elastic displacements in solids, determination of mechanical and electromagnetic observables by choice of gauge conditions is demonstrated, and practices of classical dislocation theory are derived from first principles.