Singular Symmetric Hyperbolic Systems and Cosmological Solutions to the Einstein Equations
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Characterizing the long-time behavior of solutions to the Einstein field equations remains an active area of research today. In certain types of coordinates the Einstein equations form a coupled system of quasilinear wave equations. The investigation of the nature and properties of solutions to these equations lies in the field of geometric analysis. We make several contributions to the study of solution dynamics near singularities. While singularities are known to occur quite generally in solutions to the Einstein equations, the singular behavior of solutions is not well-understood. A valuable tool in this program has been to prove the existence of families of solutions which are so-called asymptotically velocity term dominated (AVTD). It turns out that a method, known as the Fuchsian method, is well-suited to proving the existence of families of such solutions. We formulate and prove a Fuchsian-type theorem for a class of quasilinear hyperbolic partial differential equations and show that the Einstein equations can be formulated as such a Fuchsian system in certain gauges, notably wave gauges. This formulation of Einstein equations provides a convenient general framework with which to study solutions within particular symmetry classes. The theorem mentioned above is applied to the class of solutions with two spatial symmetries -- both in the polarized and in the Gowdy cases -- in order to prove the existence of families of AVTD solutions. In the polarized case we find families of solutions in the smooth and Sobolev regularity classes in the areal gauge. In the Gowdy case we find a family of wave gauges, which contain the areal gauge, such that there exists a family of smooth AVTD solutions in each gauge.