Similarity Methods for Differential Equations

  • G. W. Bluman
  • J. D. Cole

Part of the Applied Mathematical Sciences book series (AMS, volume 13)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. G. W. Bluman, J. D. Cole
    Pages 1-3
  3. G. W. Bluman, J. D. Cole
    Pages 4-142
  4. G. W. Bluman, J. D. Cole
    Pages 143-317
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 318-333

About this book


The aim of this book is to provide a systematic and practical account of methods of integration of ordinary and partial differential equations based on invariance under continuous (Lie) groups of trans­ formations. The goal of these methods is the expression of a solution in terms of quadrature in the case of ordinary differential equations of first order and a reduction in order for higher order equations. For partial differential equations at least a reduction in the number of independent variables is sought and in favorable cases a reduction to ordinary differential equations with special solutions or quadrature. In the last century, approximately one hundred years ago, Sophus Lie tried to construct a general integration theory, in the above sense, for ordinary differential equations. Following Abel's approach for algebraic equations he studied the invariance of ordinary differential equations under transformations. In particular, Lie introduced the study of continuous groups of transformations of ordinary differential equations, based on the infinitesimal properties of the group. In a sense the theory was completely successful. It was shown how for a first-order differential equation the knowledge of a group leads immediately to quadrature, and for a higher order equation (or system) to a reduction in order. In another sense this theory is somewhat disappointing in that for a first-order differ­ ential equation essentially no systematic way can be given for finding the groups or showing that they do not exist for a first-order differential equation.


Finite Invariant Lie algebra calculus equation function ordinary differential equation partial differential equation proof variable wave equation

Authors and affiliations

  • G. W. Bluman
    • 1
  • J. D. Cole
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1974
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-387-90107-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-6394-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-5452
  • Buy this book on publisher's site