What does the electric field of a "spherical wave" look like? You often hear about spherical light waves. For example, something like a light bulb is said to emit waves which are more or less spherical. Lets assume this light bulb is perfectrly round and emits in all directions (as opposed to a real light bulb, which has that metal thing at the bottom and doesn't emit light in that direction). Supposedly, the light bulb I'm describing would emit spherical waves. But what I don't understand is, what would the electric field of these waves look like? I can understand spherically symmetric sound waves, but light is a transverse wave. The electric field vector has to be perpendicular to the direction that the wave is travelling. It seems to me that, in this case, the electric field lines would have to resemble lines of latitude or longitude (on a globe) or something else, but the electric field can not be spherically symmetric. So what does the solution of Maxwell's equations look like for this spherical wave? What do we mean when we say that this wave is spherically symmetric? I can't find this in my physics books and I also tried searching Google with no luck.