Leaky modes of solid dielectric spheres
AbstractIn the absence of external excitation, light trapped within a dielectric medium generally decays by leaking out, and also by getting absorbed within the medium. We analyze the leaky modes of solid dielectric spheres by examining solutions of Maxwell's equations for simple homogeneous, isotropic, linearly dispersive media that admit complex-valued oscillation frequencies. We show that, under appropriate circumstances, these leaky modes constitute a complete set into which an initial electromagnetic field distribution inside a dielectric sphere can be expanded. We provide the outline of a completeness proof, and also present results of numerical calculations that illustrate the close relationship between the leaky modes and the resonances of solid dielectric spherical cavities.