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This is the text of an invited paper presented at the North American Radio Science Meeting of the International Union of Radio Science held in the University of Leval in Quebec, June 2–6, 1980. In integrated optics, it has been possible to explain various complex wave phenomena by two simple rules of refractive index which, however, have never been rigorously proved. The purpose of this paper is to examine these rules critically and to define them more precisely based on a Potential well model of the optical waveguides, which we will discuss in detail.