Limited computer power, as well as the instabilities arising from non-hyperbolic formulations of Einstein’s equations, necessitated that the early code development in general relativity be restricted to spacetimes with symmetry. Characteristic codes were first developed for spacetimes with spherical symmetry. The techniques for other special relativistic fields which propagate on null characteristics are similar to the gravitational case. Such fields are included in this section. We postpone treatment of relativistic fluids, whose characteristics are timelike, until Section 7.
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