I don't know why I was persuaded that in the free space, the electric field of an EM wave is always orthogonal to the direction of propagation. I've recently read my old textbook, and found that this is true only when the wave is far from the emitting source. But if I've understood right the textbook, this need not to be true in the vicinity of the source (and actually is not true in general). I'm asking myself if I'm not doing a big mistake. Can anyone confirm this (or the contrary)? thx.