This paper is concerned with the new field of nonimaging optics. Roughly this may be defined as the collection and redirection of light (or, more generally, electromagnetic radiation) by means of optical systems which do not make use of image formation concepts in their design. A non-trivial example is the compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) invented in 1965 for collecting Cerenkov radiation from large volumes of gas and concentrating it onto the relatively small area of a photomultiplier cathode. This task would, according to conventional optical practice, be performed by a lens or mirror image-forming system of high numerical aperture, but much greater concentration was achieved by a comparatively simple de-vice, the CPC. The key was to abandon the principle of imaging with high numerical aperture and instead to get the collected rays into as small an area as possible without attempting to produce an image.