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The present volume is a translation, revision and updating of our book (pub- lished in French) with the title Geometrie Algebrique Reelle . Since its pub- lication in 1987 the theory has made advances in several directions. There have also been new insights into material already in the French edition. Many of these advances and insights have been incorporated in this English version of the book, so that it may be viewed as being substantially different from the original. We wish to thank Michael Buchner for his careful reading of the text and for his linguistic corrections and stylistic improvements. The initial Jb. TEiX file was prepared by Thierry van Effelterre. The three authors participate in the European research network Real Algebraic and Analytic Geometry . The first author was partially supported by NATO Collaborative Research Grant 960011. Jacek Bochnak April 1998 Michel Coste Marie-Pranroise Roy Table of Contents Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1. Ordered Fields, Real Closed Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1. 1 Ordered Fields, Real Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1. 2 Real Closed Fields. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1. 3 Real Closure of an Ordered Field. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 1. 4 The Tarski-Seidenberg Principle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2. Semi-algebraic Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2. 1 Algebraic and Semi-algebraic Sets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2. 2 Projection of Semi-algebraic Sets. Semi-algebraic Mappings. . 26 2. 3 Decomposition of Semi-algebraic Sets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 2. 4 Connectedness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 2. 5 Closed and Bounded Semi-algebraic Sets. Curve-selection Lemma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 2. 6 Continuous Semi-algebraic Functions. Lojasiewicz's Inequality 42 2. 7 Separation of Closed Semi-algebraic Sets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .