The Dynamics of Inhomogeneous Cosmologies
In this thesis we investigate cosmological models more general than the isotropic and homogeneous Friedmann-Lemaître models. We focus on cosmologies with one spatial degree of freedom, whose matter content consists of a perfect fluid and the cosmological constant. We formulate the Einstein field equations as a system of quasilinear first order partial differential equations, using scale-invariant variables. The primary goal is to study the dynamics in the two asymptotic regimes, i. e. near the initial singularity and at late times. We highlight the role of spatially homogeneous dynamics as the background dynamics, and analyze the inhomogeneous aspect of the dynamics. We perform a variety of numerical simulations to support our analysis and to explore new phenomena.