Self-adjointness and conservation laws of difference equations

Research paper by Linyu Peng

Indexed on: 20 May '14Published on: 20 May '14Published in: Mathematical Physics


A general theorem on conservation laws for arbitrary difference equations is proved. The theorem is based on an introduction of an adjoint system related with a given difference system, and it does not require the existence of a difference Lagrangian. It is proved that the system, combined by the original system and its adjoint system, is governed by a variational principle, which inherits all symmetries of the original system. Noether's theorem can then be applied. With some special techniques, e.g. self-adjointness properties, this allows us to obtain conservation laws for difference equations, which are not necessary governed by Lagrangian formalisms.