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On a class of second-order PDEs admitting partner symmetries

By M. B. Sheftel and A. A. Malykh


Recently we have demonstrated how to use partner symmetries for obtaining noninvariant solutions of heavenly equations of Plebañski that govern heavenly gravitational metrics. In this paper, we present a class of scalar second-order PDEs with four variables, that possess partner symmetries and contain only second derivatives of the unknown. We present a general form of such a PDE together with recursion relations between partner symmetries. This general PDE is transformed to several simplest canonical forms containing the two heavenly equations of Plebañski among them and two other nonlinear equations which we call mixed heavenly equation and asymmetric heavenly equation. On an example of the mixed heavenly equation, we show how to use partner symmetries for obtaining noninvariant solutions of PDEs by a lift from invariant solutions. Finally, we present Ricci-flat self-dual metrics governed by solutions of the mixed heavenly equation and its Legendre transform.

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