Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 202973, 15 pages
Research Article

Laplace-Type Semi-Invariants for a System of Two Linear Hyperbolic Equations by Complex Methods

1Centre for Differential Equations, Continuum Mechanics and Applications, School of Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits 2050, South Africa
2Centre for Advanced Mathematics and Physics, National University of Sciences and Technology, Campus H-12, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

Received 15 July 2011; Revised 21 September 2011; Accepted 26 September 2011

Academic Editor: F. Lobo Pereira

Copyright © 2011 F. M. Mahomed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 1773 Laplace obtained two fundamental semi-invariants, called Laplace invariants, for scalar linear hyperbolic partial differential equations (PDEs) in two independent variables. He utilized this in his integration theory for such equations. Recently, Tsaousi and Sophocleous studied semi-invariants for systems of two linear hyperbolic PDEs in two independent variables. Separately, by splitting a complex scalar ordinary differential equation (ODE) into its real and imaginary parts PDEs for two functions of two variables were obtained and their symmetry structure studied. In this work we revisit semi-invariants under equivalence transformations of the dependent variables for systems of two linear hyperbolic PDEs in two independent variables when such systems correspond to scalar complex linear hyperbolic equations in two independent variables, using the above-mentioned splitting procedure. The semi-invariants under linear changes of the dependent variables deduced for this class of hyperbolic linear systems correspond to the complex semi-invariants of the complex scalar linear ( 1 + 1 ) hyperbolic equation. We show that the adjoint factorization corresponds precisely to the complex splitting. We also study the reductions and the inverse problem when such systems of two linear hyperbolic PDEs arise from a linear complex hyperbolic PDE. Examples are given to show the application of this approach.