Folklore suggests that the split Lie-like operators of a complex partial differential equation are symmetries of the split system of real partial differential equations. However, this is not the case generally. We illustrate this by using the complex heat equation, wave equation with dissipation, the nonlinear Burgers equation and nonlinear KdV equations. We split the Lie symmetries of a complex partial differential equation in the real domain and obtain real Lie-like operators. Further, the complex partial differential equation is split into two coupled or uncoupled real partial differential equations which constitute a system of two equations for two real functions of two real variables. The Lie symmetries of this system are constructed by the classical Lie approach. We compare these Lie symmetries with the split Lie-like operators of the given complex partial differential equation for the examples considered. We conclude that the split Lie-like operators of complex partial differential equations are not in general symmetries of the split system of real partial differential equations. We prove a proposition that gives the criteria when the Lie-like operators are symmetries of the split system.
Volume 95, 2021
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