The Big Picture: A 4D Slinky
Light and gravity behave like a simple harmonic oscillator, or slinky, in four dimensions.
A thought experiment: Imagine a cup that could hold neutrinos still. Turn that cup over. The neutrinos would wobble through the Earth as a SHO, cycling to the other side of the Earth and back every 88 minutes. Because the acceleration is in the direction of the velocity, this is a longitudinal wave.
- Light is created by electrons wobbling (transverse modes).
The Earth has wobbled around the Sun 4 billion times (scalar and longitudinal modes).