UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Extended group analysis of the wave equation Ma, Alex Yim-Cheong


A comprehensive study of potential symmetries admitted by partial differential equations is given using the wave equation utt = c²(x)uxx as a given prototype equation, R. Methods are given for the construction of various conserved forms for R. Potential symmetries for R are nonlocal symmetries realized as local symmetries of auxiliary systems obtained from conserved forms of R. The existence of potential symmetries for R can be determined algorithmically and automatically by the use of a symbolic manipulation program. Most importantly, the potential symmetries obtained through one auxiliary system may or may not include and/or extend those obtained through another auxiliary system. The work in this thesis significantly extends the previously known classes of potential symmetries admitted by R and results in a better understanding of the limits in the construction of potential symmetries for R.

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