The components of a Gowdy metric, see Equations (2) and (3), are not explicit functions of the coordinates. However, imposing Einstein’s equations leads to a system of nonlinear wave equations for the components. Consequently, it is useful to analyze the asymptotic behavior of the solutions to this system in order to be able to draw conclusions concerning the global geometry of the corresponding spacetimes. One natural first question to ask is if there are any preferred global foliations. Is there, e.g., a constant mean curvature (CMC) foliation?
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