In the authors’ works [Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 2869–2873 (1997;

Zbl 0948.58015), Eur. J. Appl. Math. 9, 245–259 (1998;

Zbl 0922.34006)] the authors have presented an algorithmic approach replacing Noether’s theorem allowing to obtain all local conservation laws for any differential equations, especially for ordinary ones, whether or not they have variational principles. Here they concentrate on partial differential equations. This method reduces the computation of conservation laws to solving a system of linear determining equations similar to those for finding symmetries. It gives an explicit construction formula yielding a conservation law for each solution of the determining system. Part 1 presents examples of nonlinear wave equations to exhibit the method and classification results for conservation laws of these equations. For Part 2 see the review

Zbl 1034.35071 below.