Lie symmetries and exact solutions of a class of thin film equations. (English) Zbl 1264.74156

Summary: A symmetry group classification for fourth-order reaction-diffusion equations, allowing for both second-order and fourth-order diffusion terms, is carried out. The fourth-order equations are treated, firstly, as systems of second-order equations that bear some resemblance to systems of coupled reaction-diffusion equations with cross diffusion, secondly, as systems of a second-order equation and two first-order equations. The paper generalizes the results of Lie symmetry analysis derived earlier for particular cases of these equations. Various exact solutions are constructed using Lie symmetry reductions of the reaction-diffusion systems to ordinary differential equations. The solutions include some unusual structures as well as the familiar types that regularly occur in symmetry reductions, namely, self-similar solutions, decelerating and decaying traveling waves, and steady states.


74K35 Thin films
35K99 Parabolic equations and parabolic systems
35K60 Nonlinear initial, boundary and initial-boundary value problems for linear parabolic equations


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