It is proposed that the spoiling of high-Q whispering gallery modes in deformed dielectric spheres can be understood as a transition to chaotic ray dynamics which can no longer be confined by total internal reflection. This is a Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser/Lazutkin transition for light. The theory is applied to explain the lasing properties of droplets.
- Received 26 May 1995
©1995 American Physical Society