Comparison of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation; what we can learn about each from the other
We compare the nature of electromagnetic fields and of gravitational fields in linearized general relativity. We carry out this comparison both mathematically and visually. In particular the "lines of force" visualizations of electromagnetism are contrasted with the recently introduced tendex/vortex eigenline technique for visualizing gravitational fields. Specific solutions, visualizations, and comparisons are given for an oscillating point quadrupole source. Among the similarities illustrated are the quasistatic nature of the near fields, the transverse 1/r nature of the far fields, and the interesting intermediate field structures connecting these two limiting forms. Among the differences illustrated are the meaning of field line motion, and of the flow of energy.