The systematic method for calculating all point symmetries of partial differential equations (PDEs) with non-trivial Lie point symmetry algebras does not currently apply to linear PDEs. Consider any given locally solvable system of linear homogeneous PDEs, each of order 2 or higher, of general Kovalevskaya form. Suppose that its Lie point symmetry generators' characteristics are linear in the dependent variables, while those that are homogeneous of degree 1 in the dependent variables contain a finite number of arbitrary parameters (this is common for systems that arise from applications). Herein, every point symmetry is shown to be projectable/fibre-preserving: the transformed independent variables depend only on the original independent variables. Moreover, two (conditional) Lie-algebraic characterizations of the generators of scalings and superpositions of solutions are derived. One of them holds if the system cannot be decoupled (with a smooth, locally invertible, linear change of dependent variables). If any such characterization holds, every point symmetry maps the dependent variables to functions that are linear in the original dependent variables. The aforementioned systematic method is adapted to calculate these symmetries. This version of the method also applies to linearizable systems.
- Received September 10, 2014.
- Accepted December 19, 2014.
- © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.