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This monograph is concerned with the fundamentals of up-to-date geo metrical optics treated as an approximate method of wave theory. Geometrical optics has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Primarily, it has acquired a number of novel disciplines: space-time geo metrical optics, the quasi-isotropic approximation, the modern theory of caustics related to catastrophe theory, and perturbation techniques for rays, to name only a few. Another acquisition is the reliable boundaries of appli cability for geometrical optics, based upon the concept of the Fresnel volume for a ray. These recent additions to the field are the focus of dis cussion in the book. We did not attempt to separate study-oriented and illustrative material from that intended for professionals, but rather we spread it throughout the text to facilitate for the reader the mastering of this attractive, intuitively appealing and efficient ray method. In preparing the manuscript we used a set of lecture notes devised for All-Union Schools on Diffraction and Wave Propagation, published in Rus sian. Sections 2.1-4,6 and 10 result from joint efforts of both authors. The other material of the book we wrote separately. I contributed Sects. 2.5,9 and 3.17 and Chap.4; Yu.l. Orlov prepared the rest. Unfortunately, he could not take part in the preparation of the English edition, as he died in 1982 at the age of 41, on the verge of what would have been great achieve ments considering his strong and original talent.