We studied the relative dipolar and nondipolar content of signal energy throughout ventricular excitation and recovery in 34 isolated, perfused rabbit hearts, suspended in an electrolyte filled spherical chamber. Computer processed signals were derived from 20 evenly spaced tank surface electrodes, and a single, moving, equivalent cardiac dipole generator was optimally fitted to the recorded potentials for each 1 msec sampling interval. Superimposed, time based plots of signal energy for the 34 preparations showed ventricular excitation to be strikingly more nondipolar than was recovery. In terms of the summed square ratio of nondipolar residual energies, overall nondipolarity of QRS exceeded that of ST T by 41%. Furthermore, the maximum instantaneous ratio during QRS was considerable greater than during the ST T. Evaluation of paired differences, comparing nonodipolar behavior throughout QRS with all of ST T, proved highly significant (P < .005). We also found that in contrast to the considerable mobility exhibited by the equivalent QRS dipole, the ST T dipole locus remained nearly stationary during most of ventricular recovery. Presumably because repolarization is temporally and spatially a relatively diffuse process, it may generate electrical fields which are notably more dipolar than those caused by depolarization.